FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Oct 20, 2022

SHOCKtober Day 20

I don't know about you, but I have an outsized, undying love for all things Amityville. Yeah, it's a trash franchise rooted in a legitimate tragedy that was exploited by a group of con artists. Yeah, I'm not sure that "franchise" is even correct since these days anything and everything slaps an "Amityville" on a title and it means nothing. Yeah, I'm not sure that any of the movies are "good," not that that matters, really. And yet! I don't care! I love all things Amityville! 

I got in at the right time (youth) and the "true story" angle got me hooked but good. Once upon a time (youth) the original film was theeeeee most terrifying thing I'd ever seen. When watching it these days, it comes off mostly corny as heck but I admit...I still experience the occasional residual feeling of terror, something like the perfume ghost left behind, the one you can smell when a grandma leaves a room. 

So how to choose a favorite character from something that means a lot to me while simultaneously meaning nothing to me? Yes, Amityville is indeed my Schrödinger's franchise! I think it's because...well, it's not quite """"nostalgia"""" (or at least I hope it isn't). Maybe it is? Maybe I'm just chasing that perfume ghost, you know? I just love all those heebie jeebies and scares that come with thinking this was all real and could happen to anyone.

But anyway, back to the question: how to choose? Because really, The Amityville Horror (I'm sticking to the OG film here) is full of great characters:

  • the psychic friend who flips out by the red room
  • Jody, the...purple demonic pig
  • the ubiquitous La Choy food products (seriously they're everywhere! the Lutzes fucking loved La Choy I guess)

  • the ubiqitous houseflies
  • Margot Kidder and James Brolin for being, like, the hottest horror movie couple ever
  • the babysitter with the headgear! queen
  • a dogeared, yellowing copy of Jay Anson's paperback (not in the movie I know, but a good all-encompassing choice)
  • no wait! the answer is obvious...


Technically her name is "Aunt Helena" but come on, we all know her by her stage name, "That Nun Who Pukes," right? That's how bad the doings were at 112 Ocean Avenue: the doings made a nun flee the scene and barf! Wow, scary.

Then, you grow up and you watch that scene and you are dazzled/amazed/entranced by how completely over-the-top her puking sounds are. If Amityville wasn't already permanently etched on your heart, it would be now because you don't want to watch anything else.

Seriously, warning: don't watch it if you have somewhere to be! The clip is so good you might enter a viewing loop from which you will never emerge.


Riccardo said...

> The clip is so good you might enter a viewing loop from which you will never emerge.

Wow, you're not kidding. I right-clicked the video and clicked "Loop" almost immediately. For me gore is "A-okay," but barf is "No way," but here they're discreet enough not to show it but oh boy, the sound.

That it's preceded by a Hanna-Barbera-esque "car screeching to a halt" sound makes it all the better.

Stacie Ponder said...

Thank you for understanding :D :D :D Oh yeah I'm the same way with barf stuff, it's a no-go. But the screeeeech-RARRRAGHGHGHGHGHGH + no visuals is *chefs kiss*

Keb'n said...

I remember being at a drive-in where this was playing on another screen. My friends and I had already seen Amityville, but we made sure we turned in our seats to rewatch the "nun vomits" scene. Classic!

Rochester Swift said...

Margot Kidder is the only reason I've had left to revisit this movie since I perused a copy Stephen Kaplan's classic "The Amityville Horror Conspiracy" which drop kicked the Lutz's scam into Fraud Land. Maybe I'm just a sucker for brunettes with big dark eyes and alto voices. Haunted house movies have circled the drain with no style at all during the 80's and beyond, though, ouch. ...unless you have some you'd like to recommend?