AMITYVILLEIT'S ABOUT TIME
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JOSEPH CROSS, BRIANA EVIGAN,
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A SIERRA NEVADA
(MICHAEL MADSEN & JOHN SAVAGE).
In 1989 THE AMITYVILLE HORROR moved outta New York in the form of a tasteless lamp, and it moved on out to California.
In AMITYVILLE 4: THE EVIL ESCAPES, things didn't go well for the folks who wound up with the lamp, and then things didn't go too well for the lamp. But at least the movie ended with a sequel squeezer. That potential sequel was ignored here as Freemantle Media and Lionsgate chose to go back to the drawing board and have some other possessed junk from that there house in Amityville, go shuffling off to California again. Why California? I guess because it's just up the road from a film making community and infrastructure built for making movies, i.e., cheapnis.
How cheap? Direct to video cheap.
AMITYVILLE 1992: IT'S ABOUT TIME was based on the 1989 novel, AMITYVILLE: THE HORROR RETURNS by John G. Jones. Freemantle and Lionsgate must have been smitten with the FRIDAY THE 13th television series at that time, seeing as how their two movies, AMITYVILLE 4: THE EVIL ESCAPES and this one are pretty much blatant rip-offs of the series.
Granted that Horror literature itself is full of possessed or haunted objet d'art, but the fact that the show was pretty popular on syndicated television at-the-same-time is kind of a give-away. In Jones' goofy book, a California ranch-style home mutates into the Amityville, New York house.
Boy, that sure as shit would wake the neighbors up, eh? Try explaining THAT to the Homeowners Association!
That doesn't happen in AMITYVILLE 1992: IT'S ABOUT TIME. No, in this one, Jacob Sterling (Stephen Macht: NIGHTWING, THE GRAVEYARD SHIFT. Hey fellow geeks, "The Blue Star!") returns to his daughter Lisa (Megan Ward: ARCADE, FREAKED), son Rusty (Damon Martin: GHOULIES II), and former lover Andrea Livingston (Shawn Weatherly: SHADOWZONE), with a gnarly looking clock.
Andrea doesn't have the clock. Jacob has the clock. He returned with it. Okay? The Amityville, New York house clock! Gasp!
It's so freakin' scary that it frightens an old lady who was just walking past the house - and she never even SEES the clock! That's just how spooky it is!
Now granted you might ask, "If its so damn scary, then why the hell would he buy it?"
Well, a super spooky old clock would be a selling point for me, so I know how old Pop feels. His kids don't get it though. They sneer at his taste in timery (Damn kids and their music!). Pop puts the clock on the mantle and it makes itself at home. Or should I say that it makes itself into the home.
Andrea was looking after the late teen rugrats while Pop was gone and now that he's back, SHE wants to leave. Yet there's a storm and "Oh baby it's cold outside." Pop nuzzles her face with his cucumber honker (nose) and convinces her to stay. Soon after, she's riding his other cucumber honker (you know what they say about men with big noses) and the nude scene goes for the jug-ular.
The next day Pop goes for a run while Andrea stays at his house and wonders if she should call her boyfriend (Yikes! Well not from your lover's home phone, lady!). Jacob, meanwhile, gets attacked by a dog.
A Demonic Dog!
At the hospital, Andrea shows her unlikable side. While Jacob's getting fixed, all Andrea can think of is how this emergency is using up HER valuable time (Damn lady! You are ONE piece of work!).
When she gets Jacob home, she rags him out for "doing this" to her again (?).
I mean, what? How many times does Jacob get mauled by demonic dogs, anyway? Jacob gets into bed and his bandages are all loose and bloody like he's been wearing them for days instead of freshly dressed. Small wonder, when he removes them, we see deep wide gashes on his leg. The damn doctor's didn't bother to cauterize or even stitch up his bleeding wounds! WTF?
And he didn't complain about it? WT-Double-F?
And Andrea doesn't see anything wrong with that either? WT-Triple-F?
Yes, reality is truly breaking down in the movie. I'm willing to go along with a haunted or demon possessed clock, I accept that it's a Horror Thriller movie, but there is only so much disbelief I'll suspend.
15 minutes into the movie and we're already into a surreal nightmare far removed from the real world. If you are going to go this over the top this quick, you'd better damn well commit to some serious David Lynch or Brian Yuzna style motifs.
Writer Antonio Toro (AMITYVILLE: A NEW GENERATION) co-wrote the screenplay of this mess with Producer, Christopher DeFaria (Writer - AMITYVILLE: A NEW GENERATION. Producer - TREMORS II: AFTERSHOCKS). John G. Jones was the co-producer. Considering the superior work that Director Tony Randel performed on HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER II to this, I have to wonder how much creative interference Jones had. I'll probably never know. Especially since this movie comes without DVD extras.
There are some truly out-of-touch moments in the movie, like when Andrea invites her Pop-Psychiatrist boyfriend, Dr. Leonard (Jonathan Penner: THE LAST SUPPER, HOOD OF HORROR) over to her wounded lover Jacob's house to spend the night (!)
... and she balls him in the spare bedroom WHILE Jacob and the kids are home (and she wonders why her relationship with the kids is breaking down)!
In fact, Leonard makes himself at home SO much that he thinks nothing of going downstairs to the kitchen after sex, wrapped in nothing more than Andrea's kimono, and helping himself to Jacob's food. WTF squared?
I'm not saying that such selfish insufferable dingbats don't exist. Hell, they usually brag about their exploits on Jerry Springer. But they don't get to be the morally superior hero of the tale!
Still, the kitchen scene between Jacob and Leonard was the best part of the movie. The second best part was near the end when Andrea discovers just how powerful the clock truly is. But that moment, which would have been insanely cool in the middle and had the movie explore THAT bizarre world, is seen only briefly and then its done.
The third best part was the nude scene at the beginning. There were no scary parts. And there was nowhere near enough nudity to make up for that fact. Sigh.
Too few flashes of atmosphere and brilliance, too much time spent wandering. Two Shriek Girls.