Monday, October 4, 2021

#2,627. Spookies (1986)


The first time I saw the low-budget horror film Spookies, I knew nothing about its history, and I have to admit I thought it was a goddamn mess (though not a total failure).

Originally titled Twisted Souls, Spookies tells the story of Kreon (Felix Ward), a sorcerer who lures unsuspecting victims to his remote mansion so he can feed their souls to his beloved, Isabelle (Maria Pechukas), who has been in a coma… or suspended animation… or maybe even dead (it’s not really explained) for 70 years.

His latest targets are a group of friends, including Duke (Nick Gionta), Richie (Peter Iasillo Jr), Meegan (Kim Merrill), and Carol (Lisa Friede), who arrive at the mansion expecting to attend a wild party, but instead find themselves facing off against monsters, zombies, a Spider Woman (Soo Paek), and even the Grim Reaper (James M. Glenn).

Most of what works in Spookies, especially the make-up effects (the scene with the Spider Woman is impressive), was lifted from Twisted Souls. The brainchild of writers / co-directors Frank Farel, Brendan Faulkner and Thomas Doran, Twisted Souls centered on the friends and their misadventures inside the mansion. Unfortunately, legal troubles with the financiers arose during editing, and as a result, additional footage (the subplot involving Kreon and Isabelle) was shot (by a different crew), specific moments were lifted from Twisted Souls, and the two were spliced together.

Thus, Spookies was born

So what was the final result of all these backroom shenanigans? Well, to sum it up for you, the added scenes with Kreon and Isabelle are bizarre and nonsensical, while the Twisted Souls sequences are goofy, occasionally entertaining, and clearly devised by fans of the genre.

So, in the end,Spookies is only a half-decent horror flick, but that still makes it better than some.
Rating: 6 out of 10

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