If I had caught today's flick The Outing (aka The Lamp) closer to its year of release (1987) late at night on USA's Saturday Nightmares, I probably would've loved it. I was a teenager then, and The Outing perfectly fits the bill for the type of cheesy late-night horror I'd watch on sleepovers. Now that I'm an old woman, however, the sweet 15 minutes at the beginning and the sweet last half hour simply weren't enough to make up for the dull-ass 45 minutes in the middle.
3 redneck ne'er-do-wells break into some old lady's house, convinced she has riches upon riches hidden somewhere in the sprawling place. They find a lamp- your average everydayAladdin-style lamp- and kill the old bat when she doth protest too much. After some struggle the thieves get the lamp open, releasing a glowing green fog that flies up the dead old lady's nose, possessing her. Briefly reanimated, she kills the thieves. The fog goes home again and plugs up the lamp after a job well done.
The dead woman's possessions are brought to the local Natural History Museum for some reason. In a shocking plot twist rarely found in horror films, a group of high school students sneaks into the museum after hours for some beer and heavy petting. The fog is released from the lamp yet again and goes on a killing spree, with a little possession here and a little possession there. Eventually the fog reveals its true form, a giant genie who sometimes glows green and talks in a "scary" voice that was so garbled I couldn't understand anything he said.
The portions of The Outing I described above are those where something actually happens, where there's some friggin' action. The rest of the film is a long, drawn out nothingfest, featuring a strangely violent school fight, some family "drama", and a trip to the museum. When the genie/fog finally gets his shit together and gets down to business and kills all the kids in the museum, it's pretty cool but it's over very quickly. There's more down time than up time in The Outing, which is fine if you're staying up all night watching horror movies and making crank calls. I was a little bored by most of the endeavor, which makes me feel wicked out of touch with the younguns. I give it 5 out of 10 "Now who wants a Crystal Pepsi?"s.