Saturday, January 15, 2011

Ozzie and Harriet in the House of Death

House of Death (Death Screams, 1982)
Shelby, North Carolina

When we first learned about the passing of former child star David Nelson, we weren't too surprised to note that most obituaries failed to mention that he had directed the obscure slasher film House of Death/Death Screams. Nelson is best known for portraying himself on the family sitcom "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" along with his parents and younger brother Ricky Nelson. But in the 1980s he directed several films (and TV show episodes), including two made in the South: The Florida film Last Plane Out (1983) starring Jan-Michael Vincent, and House of Death, which was filmed at Earl Owensby's EO Studios compound in Shelby, N.C.

House of Death is set against the backdrop of a carnival, with a shadowy killer offing teenagers. Like that other EO slasher film Final Exam (1981), House of Death suffers from a long, boring stretch in the middle and a lackluster killer with seemingly no motivation. What it does have, however, is former Playmate Susan Kiger and former North Carolina pageant queen Monica Boston. William T. Hicks, who plays the obligatory fat sheriff, was also in Owensby's Tales of the Third Dimension, A Day of Judgment, Challenge, and Living Legend: The King of Rock and Roll. (Thanks to Fred Adelman for the VHS images).

No comments:

Post a Comment