Spookies (1986)

Every decade has a defining theme within the horror genre. In the 50’s/60’s it was the Creature Feature, the 70’s was the Grindhouse/Exploitation theme, and the 80’s was the cheesy Comedic Horror (whether intentional or otherwise). Night of the Demons, Creepshow, Evil Dead and Child’s Play are some of the greatest examples of the fun, over the top, movies that raised a whole jaded generation of horror fans on sick humour, killer soundtracks, and awful special effects. There’s nothing more enjoyable that watching a film where you can tell everyone involved is having an excellent time, which is why this decade is my all time favourite for horror – back then they knew that a sure fire way to make a good movie is to keep your tongue firmly in cheek (before someone rips it of your head that is).

Spookies is one such film.

The story centres around a group of ‘’teenagers’’ (all of which don’t look a day under thirty – apart from one girl’s ‘’boyfriend’’ who looks more like her dad. That, coupled with the fact that he’s the only one wearing a suit would make him sex offender material if the girl he was supposed to be dating looked anywhere near the age she is supposed to be portraying.) who driving home one night from a party decide to break into an abandoned mansion in the middle of nowhere and continue their drunken shenanigans in style.
There’s just one problem (aside from creepy suit guy that is), the mansion isn’t abandoned – it’s still occupied by a mental sorcerer with a terrible accent who is trying to resurrect his dead bride by stealing the youth of innocent folk like these (poor bloke – it’s slim pickings on the youth front in this crowd, believe me).

Soooo, the group hang around drinking for a while until a body falls out of a cupboard with a Ouija Board (if I had a penny for every time that happened … ) and instead of getting the funk out they decide it would be an super cool idea to play with it instead (the board not the dead guy that is) – always a good move. Can you guess what happens next kids?

Spookies is legendary in my opinion – it goes from intense creepiness to laugh out loud funny within minutes, not to mention a hell of a lot of bizarre ‘Huh?’ moments thrown in for good measure. Some things that happen are genuinely unexpected – the little boy being buried alive by a Cat Man with a hook hand (that’s right a Cat Man – don’t get many of them to the pound theses days do you? But to be fair, in my opinion it looks more like the love child of Dracula and Smurfette) in particular was shocking to me, as children in these sorts of horror movies always seem to escape, but Spookies is anything but predictable in terms of what it has to offer.

It literally throws everything at you – Possession, Cat People, Spider Women, Lizard Things, Zombies, the Grim Reaper, a monster made of mud that has a flatulence issue. I mean dude? It’s like a group of horror fans got really high and this film was the product. Sometimes it feels like it’s just a collection of completely random scenes thrown together and everyone has just hoped for the best, and others make you wonder why it’s never cited in the classic horror countdowns, but it never, ever stops being enjoyable to watch. If you aren’t laughing at the cardboard gravestones or the terrible acting, you are wishing you could meet the script writer and shake his hand for just getting away with this shit. It truly must be seen to be believed, and fallen in love with.

If Phantasm and Evil Dead fell in love, Spookies would be their beautiful, retarded offspring. It is terrible, awesome and a complete classic.

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