Sunday, August 14, 2016

House 2

House II: The Second Story (1987)

Image Source
A young couple (Arye Gross & Lar Park Lincoln) move into his old family homestead after his parents died mysteriously. Their obnoxious friends (Jonathan Stark & Amy Yasbeck) come to stay with them, and one evening the men-folk decide to dig up buddy's great-grandfather's grave to see if this legendary Mayan crystal skull is in there. The great-grandfather (Royal Dano) is still alive in the form of a cowboy mummy and comes to live with them as well. Unfortunately, the crystal skull which is keeping the old man alive is also attracting the forces of evil (which take the forms of a stone age pro wrestler, a group of Mayan priests, and a different undead cowboy).

Yeah this movie really doesn't make a whole lot of sense. It's vaguely amusing in parts - like the bit with the eccentric electrician (John Ratzenberger) who also happens to be basically Indiana Jones - but it's all over the place, as though they took the worst things about House and decided to make a movie just about that.

The stop-motion creature effects are pretty good, but the things that they are effects of are really stupid. Like, okay, the two main characters find that one of the rooms is a portal to the stone age after aforementioned pro-wrestler crashes a Halloween party and steals the crystal skull. They follow him into the stone age and have to fight off stop-motion dinosaurs in a scene lifted from 1 Million Years BC. Only unlike 1 Million Years BC which was made in the 1960s, I'm pretty sure that by 1987 they knew that humans and dinosaurs did not live in the same time period which makes this movie annoying as fuck.

Also, there's a fucking dogerpillar, an animal invented for the sole purpose of annoying me. What the fuck.

The whole thing just feels like a really boring kids' movie the would've shown on the family channel in the 1990s, only the main character would have been ten instead of like thirty five. The characters are about as sharp as children, the cowboy-mummy grandpa being the worst offender. The main guys keep retrieving the crystal skull for him and he keeps losing it to other evil forces. Did I mention that the skull is the only reason he is still alive? You would think he would keep it somewhere safe. And every time he loses it, main guy is like "oh no, the skull got stolen, gramps will die if we don't get it back!" and it's like, man, gramps is 200 years old, his time is over.

I was seriously hoping the old man would get wasted (spoiler, he does, but not nearly soon enough) coz he's about as riveting as Grandpa Simpson. Yes, they found a way to make an undead mummy gunslinger boring. And now I've seen everything.

The ending - which I interpreted as the main character becoming his great grandfather - is terrible, a lazy cop-out, and really raises more questions than it answers. Did the house contain portals to other times or small pocket dimensions that look like other times (sort of like Indian in the Cupboard)? If the house burns down, which is implied, do the pocket dimensions collapse? If the house contains time-portals, what are the ramifications of the Idiot Friend leaving an Uzi in the Stone Age? Why was Bill Maher in the movie? These are questions that need answers.

Even the architecture of the house is really stupid. The outside is sort of a Queen Anne style spooky house, while the inside is half Victorian and half Aztec pyramid which does actually get explained but is still offensive to the eye.

Furthermore, it had nothing to do with the first House, really, except that it too was set in a house. Anyway, the only good thing about this movie was the title so my advice is to just read that, have a chuckle, and move on.


Written and Directed by: Ethan Wiley.  Story by: Fred Dekker.  Starring: Arye Gross, Jonathan Stark, Royal Dano, Lar Park Lincoln, Amy Yasbeck, John Ratzenberger, Bill Maher.

No comments:

Post a Comment