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The House of Clocks was a pleasant, and nasty, little surprise. I had heard that it was an awful piece of crap, but my husband and I both enjoyed this TV movie quite a bit. And not in an ironic way, either! Score another one for Mr. Fulci, who, of course, still lives.

For a Fulci story, this one pretty much makes sense, and I know that turns off some of his fans. Three idiotic stoner criminals (Keith Van Hoven, Karina Huff, Peter Hintz) try to rob a mansion with the elderly occupants (Paolo Paolini, Bettine Milne) and their hulking, one-eyed handyman (Al Cilver) still inside. The brain trust ends up killing Cliver et al and then the rich people resurrect and go all “Legend of Wooley Swamp” on the would-be thieves, minus the quicksand.

The horrified mugging faces on the thieves when the old people start getting their revenge is one of the best parts of the film, although, as usual, it’s hard to tell just how bad the acting is when it’s dubbed. Also, there is a twist on the story, which uniquely comes at the beginning rather than the end: the two rich old people are themselves psychotic killers! The old lady kills their maid (Carla Cassola) with a pointy stick for daring to try to quit her job to go and take care of her ailing mother. Both old people appear to have participated in the murder of their niece and nephew (Francesca DeRose, Paolo Bernardi) for being greedy, and are keeping the bodies laid out in a chapel with something sharp stuck through each of their throats. It is probably just to show that these folks are crazy, or for gross-out purposes, that they keep Niece and Nephew lying in the house, because they actually bury the maid. Oh, well.

So, who do you root for when killers kill killers, who then kill killers? I know I’m against the punk thief who suffocates a cat just for shits and grins, but beyond that, it’s a free-for-all. It’s shocking to me as an American to see how much they can show on Italian TV: there were brains, guts, moldy corpses, a zombie, and I think I even caught a glimpse of a boob. I almost forgot to mention the reason for the title. The mansion is filled with clocks that are somehow alive, as in they take revenge for the old people’s deaths by running backwards and making their owners come back to life. So, you see, the story makes sense, but not too much sense. The House of Clocks is not hard to find, so I suggest you do.

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