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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

MIA on DVD - HOUSE 4

I have been waiting a while to do an article on House IV. It is by far the most hated and loathed entry in the Sean Cunningham HOUSE series. House IV is the misunderstood bastard child that no one wants to believe exists. I'm here to tell you that not only does it exist, but it isn't THAT bad...it's actually quite a fun movie. If it were a little campier, it may even be a favourite amongst b-movie fans.

I may be a little biased writing this because I have such a nostalgic connection to the movie. I remember stumbling across the movie in Jumbo Video in the Comedy section one summer afternoon. I couldn't believe my eyes that it even existed. I searched high and low for House 3, but never found it. Puzzled and confused, I rented it anyways and was blown away to discover it had Roger Cobb (William Katt) in it! This was a sequel to the first...kind of. 

I should probably mention House 3 while I'm at it. House 3 is more widely accepted as being a good movie. The biggest problem with it is that it has nothing to do with the House series. Here's the story as far as I know: During production or pre-production (I'm not sure...I'll figure it out when I do an MIA on DVD for House 3) they began to realize that the movie deviated way to much from the first two House movies. So to solve this problem, Sean Cunningham renamed the movie THE HORROR SHOW in North America. Which is fine and all, except, in the UK they decided to keep the title House 3. So when it came time to make a fourth House movie, one that was more connected to the first two, Cunningham had to make a decision - does he title it House 3 here in the North America only or does he title it House 4 here in North America AND in the UK? After probably one second of thought, this poor little sequel got the number 4 attached to it. That's the story of the great House 3/4 conundrum, as far as I know. Now onto the movie...

Like I said before, I really do like House IV. It has some lame and stupid parts to it (ie. the ending), but it is a very enjoyable movie to watch. It doesn't live up anywhere near to the quality of the first two in any department, but it does have a few things going for it. Here's a list of a few of those things:

- Sort of / kind of a sequel to the first one.
- Really spooky house - I would say scarier than the first two.
- Creepy wheelchair
- Great music - "I'm the pizza man, I'm the pizza man..."
- Great jump scares - Pizza face in pizza box; arms reaching out from ashes on floor; burned Roger Cobb turning up all over the place; arms reaching up from bed; 
- Nude blood shower
- Crazy-ass midget mobster who runs a toxic waste company - this character is crazy disgusting
- Dog with a lampshade on it's head (don't ask)
- Bug and Snake creatures

For those of you who haven't seen the film, the basic premise is simple. Roger Cobb (a very different man from the first one, with a daughter instead of a son and I don't think he remembers the first one happened) has a fight over his grandfather's old house with his brother. Cobb wants to keep the house, but his brother has other plans. Unfortunately for Cobb, he dies in a horrible car accident, and it leaves his daughter unable to walk. Cobb's wife decides to move in to the old house, with her now wheelchair bound paraplegic daughter. As soon as they move in, strange things begin to happen as the house tries to scare them to move out! 

I really wish this movie would get a DVD release. I don't know why Anchor Bay hasn't picked it up yet. They released the first two and so many other way crappier movies. House IV deserves a chance. Hell, if Exorcist 2 gets a DVD release, House IV deserves a full screen release, a director's cut release, a producer's cut release and a Home Deadly Home Special Edition release. Not a Blu-ray though...that is really unnecessary. 

Now when this movie finally gets it's DVD release, the distributor has very little options for artwork - making it almost impossible to screw up. Here are some of their choices:

This is the cover from the UK DVD release. Which actually just makes me jealous looking at it. Interesting choice though. Very similar to the House II cover artwork, but this time it's a new key, just pressed from Walmart, and it appears the zombie hand is giving it over to someone. Fascinating!

This is the poster artwork for the French (?-according to an ebay seller) DVD release. Definitely my least favourite of the bunch. Whoever designed this has no skill. Just saying.

This is a pretty cool poster from the Italian release, but it doesn't really represent the movie all that well. I love that they use Roger's name in the title. I wonder what it says?

Now if I had my way, this would be the artwork to use. I remember it like it was the hot summer of '94 (or maybe '95) when I first stumbled upon this awesome cover artwork. Even if you hate the movie, you've got to love this artwork. And the tagline is to die for. I would love to have this poster up on my wall.

Until a distributor grows some balls and releases this movie, I present to you the "Pizza Man" song for your enjoyment...

1 comment:

  1. haha classic! If I'm not mistaken the guy in the pizza is none other than Kane Hodder!

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