Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Burnening


____"Don't Go Into The House"(1980)____

Directed by: Joseph Ellison
(Donny)Dan Grimaldi
Tag Lines:
"Threshold into terror!"
"You Have Been Warned!"
"In a steel room built for revenge they die burning... in chains."
"It was too late to tell them.."

Alternate Titles:
"Das Haus der lebenden Leichen"(West Germany)
"La casa del terror"(Spain)
"Nie chodz do tego domu"(Poland)
"The Burning"(Working Title)

So I got this peculiar killer flick, from my local DVD store, for cheap. The pretty cover art lured me, and the promises of burning people alive sold it. Now lets start with the films title, "Don't Go Into The House". This is one of many movies with "Don't" in their titles. The first, I suppose is either "Don't Look In The Basement" which was made in 1973. There are numerous other movies with "Don't" in the title, like:
"Don't Answer The Phone"
"Don't Look in the Attic"

The movie stars Dan Grimaldi, this being his first movie. Hes actually really good in this film, and I'm kinda happy to see that his career is pretty good doing a few more movies, and being in such TV shows like The Sopranos, and Law And Order. The director Joseph Ellison, has only made one more film, Joey(1984).
So This movie follows Donny, who when he was young, was traumatized by his abusive mother. She would burn him whenever he acted out, or did anything she didn't like. Why is it always the mother who turns the kids into horrible killers? I want to see more serial killers, who became killers because of their Dad. The movie starts with a bang, where Donny is witness to man catching fire at his work, which has a obvious effect on him. He comes home to find his sick mother dead. His reaction to finding his mother dead cracks me up; mainly because he starts to do some strange sobbing noises, kinda like Bad Lieutenant. Him obviously shaken up by his mother's death, starts to hear strange voices. The voice helps Donny calm down, telling him that his mother's gone, and he's free to do what he wants. Donny now free of his horrible mother, realizes he can do everything he always wanted to as a kid. This includes jumping on beds, and playing bad Disco music loud.

This little party is stopped early when he hears he gets visions, and hears his mother's voice yelling at him. Donny is obviously, mentally unstable, and he has pretty cool, nightmarish visions of burnt bodies attacking, and strange voices. So what does every mentally challenged man-child does when his abusive mother dies?...Keeps the mother in the house, and picks up women, only to knock them out, strip them down, and burn them alive. Yeah, yeah, yeah its very stereotypical, and the whole Momma's Boy killer thing has been done a million times...But I actually enjoy this film. Its got some nice effects, good characters, and I was never really bored sitting and watching it.
So after killing a few people, though you only see few get murdered; he goes to the local priest for guidance. The priest being a friend to his family, tries to help Donny as he tells him his troubles(excluding the killing people thing). The priest gives him advice and offers Donny help if he ever needed it. Donny's friend from work, Bobby, who through out the film, also tries to help Donny out. The only annoying thing is his constant asking of Donny to go with him to a bar. Their relationship is kinda weird, kinda comes off with a slight homosexuality. Donny goes a while not killing people, and starts relapsing. Bobby, looking out for him, talks him into going to a double date at a Disco club.

This leads to one very long clothes shopping scene and another long disco scene. In the disco club this girl tries to get him to dance and pulls his arms. This freaks him out because she pulled his arms over a candle(Flash back of his mom burning him) and he throws a candle into her face, which had me laughing, because I'm such a horrible person. He then rushes out and gets his ass kicked by her brother. Angry and freaking out he decides to go back to killing, and lucky for him two girls need a ride. So he knocks them both out and ties them up to burn them alive. Meanwhile Bobby and the priest go to stop Donny, who's having a break down. Donny's seeing visions of Burnt people attacking him. Once there they set free the girls, and the priest catches fire(That's got to be blasphemous)He then burns the house down with him in it.

Then the last scene in the movie is a strange scene, where this kid is hit by his mom for not turning the T.V. down. Him Shocked by this begins to hear the same voices Donny did. Maybe setting up a Sequel, or a "The End?" Type ending.

The movie is really creepy and atmospheric, with strange nightmarish scenes, dark imagery and good death scenes. Thats one thing I wanted to see more of is, more people getting burnt. I mean there really isn't that many people who get burned up. Though when people do get burnt, it is very effective. The effects are really good, and the burnings are pretty awesome. The acting also is very good, and really believable. The only real problem is the ridiculous soundtrack, which is really shitty disco-synth music. You also like the main character, hes not necessarily evil, just messed in the head. Hes also going through the big change from the 70's to the 80's. The film really talks about the changes from the 70's into the 80's and how Donny is kinda lost. If you can find the film, get it.


Theme:1/5 Horrible Soundtrack, never was a fan of Disco.
Villain:3/5 I liked the guy, he is not necessarily evil..Just messed in the head
3.5 out of 5

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