AMITYVILLE II: THE POSSESSION Starring James Olson, Burt Young, Rutanya Alda, Andrew Prine, Jack Magner, Diane Franklin, Moses Gunn. Directed by Damiano Damiani. (1982, 104 mn).
AMITYVILLE 3-D Starring Tony Roberts, Tess Harper, Robert Joy, Candy Clark. Directed by Richard Fleischer. (1983, 93 min).
For a brief time in the late 70s, The Lutz family was a household name. Their horrific account of a month of terror in their demon-infested new home was the subject of Jay Anson’s book The Amityville Horror, which scared the living shit out of damn-near everyone and became a phenomenon similar to The Da Vinci Code…the book everyone just had to read. It wasn’t particularly well-written, but what made it truly terrifying was, unlike The Shining or The Exorcist, the Lutz’ story was supposedly true.
Naturally, Hollywood came calling, and The Amityville Horror was adapted into a film in 1979 by American-International (one of their few big-budget attempts to compete with the major studios). In ensuing years, the Lutz’ story has been pretty-much declared total bullshit, but that didn’t stop Amityville from becoming a brand name and long-running franchise. This boxed set features the first three films, the only ones which were actually released theatrically.
|"No, I will NOT add more cowbell!"|
|Burt Young knows just how to handle Jehovah's |
Witnesses who show up at the door.
|Everything looks 3-D after a few shots of Ouzo.|
All three films are products of their time, released when most of us were still buying into the whole Lutz story. None of them have aged too well, but any horror fan with a respectful nod to the past has to appreciate them for the brief pop-cultural entities they once were. And since this boxed set includes some nifty extras, it's a worthwhile purchase those those who fondly remember these films.
SPECIAL FEATURES: AMITYVILLE HORROR: “For God’s Sake, Get Out!” documentary with James Brolin & Margot Kidder; Lalo Schifrin featurette; audio commentary by Dr. Hans Holzer, Ph.D in Parapsychology; trailers; radio spots / AMITYVILLE II: Interview with director Damiano Damiani; interviews with Tommy Lee Wallace, Andrew Prine, Diana Franklin & Rutanya Alda; audio commentary by author Alexandra Holzer; trailer / AMITYVILLE 3-D: Candy Clark featurette; 2D & 3D version of the film; trailer
(Out of 5)