Monday, June 13, 2011

DEADLY MANOR (1990) - when a "spam in a cabin" plot takes place in a creepy house in the woods, things get extra spammy

Here's the entire movie. Remind me again why I bothered to buy an import DVD of this some time ago.

So sad. A young naked couple, struck down in their prime of their lives. Apparently, they were fucking on a motorcycle going 60 miles an hour, and somehow, this tragically led to their demise.

Open and shut case? Well, a mysterious black car drives away from the scene, so maybe it was all a devious conspiracy. A “third party”, hiding on a knoll (whatever the fuck that is) may have shot their tire out during the whole “screwing on a bike while hauling ass” deal. I’d point to this as the most logical explanation for the two deaths, but logic can later be chucked out of the window, as cinema need not follow the laws of the universe. We shall see.

A truck hauling a Bob's Big Boy statue (I guess he’s going in for repairs after getting molested by hooligans) lets off a hitchhiker. Four teens ready for a weekend of fun at the local lake are having issues making sense of the map. Luckily, they bump into the hitchhiker, who will guide these assholes to the promised land.

As if smacked by the hand of fate, our schmucks get a flat tire. Further complicating matters, a badged porker pulls up, and the fat goofball has to swallow his joint (he’s wearing a spiked bracelet, Godzilla t-shirt, and a denim jacket with the sleeves cut off, for whatever that’s worth). However, things work out after all. They fix the tire, elude the tyranny of the man, and take a side road to a creepy old house and decide to stay the night…oh, never mind.

Interestingly, sitting on the front lawn is a monument of the dented black car, placed on a stone slab, complete with blood stains and a photo of a girl. Even more ominously, the second floor window suddenly closes, which the fat guy thinks was done by a "biohazard mutant zombie". On top of all of this, it starts to downpour, scaring the bejeezus out of Helen, who runs off for the safety of the deep dark woods. The hitchhiker kicks the door down, some false scare birds jump out of a closet, and everyone immediately decides to inspect the cellar. As Peter eloquently observes, "muthafucka, there are coffins in the basement!". Things become even more ominous when Helen, after wandering in the woods for awhile, gets her throat slit.

Well, I guess you know where this is headed. The gang never waivers in its desire to spend the night in the shadiest of domiciles, even when they happen upon a collection of human scalps, not to mention a photo book of nude corpses (yay nudity!). They also find various sassy photographs of a live girl (more nudity…yippee!), who in fact is still living in the house, a nutball trapped in a past of former modeling glories (shades of Silent Scream). The "actress" is played by Jennifer Delora of Robot Holocaust and some other crap, wearing a creepy porcelain mask. Even the walls occasionally crack (a la Repulsion), symbolically representing the fracturing psyche of the girl.

She and the house have now become symbiotic; two decaying bedfellows that are remnants of a happier, less bat-shit crazy time. If that wasn't enough already, through the ubiquitous expository newspaper headline, we learn that the hitchhiker is on the lam, but, alas, ain’t no sheep.

These kids are a curious bunch, eager to investigate
any and all suspicious noises and disturbances, but not equipped to do so. They eventually become dead certain that they are in fact being slaughtered, so they head for the car, but the battery has been stolen (I bet it’s those damn hoodlums that “compromised” the Big Boy statue). Fatty and his girl head to the road to wave down a passing vehicle and, luckily, some creep picks them up. Unfortunately, the creep slits fatty’s throat in slow-mo (I should’ve seen that coming), and his girl escapes through the woods, supplemented by the ever popular owl insert.

She ends up back at the house and finally tries the telephone, but unfortunately, some asshole forgot to pay the bill. Jennifer finally pulls off the mask, showing off her deformed face. I’m guessing this must have contributed to the downfall of her modeling career, but she blames her unceremonious intruders for her unfortunate complexion.

A handy flashback finally explains everything. We see the naked bikers from earlier with their clothes on, riding along, harassing the shit out of Jennifer and her dad in that black car. This causes them to veer off the road and crash, and consequently, become crazy retard killers. Not only do they kill the bikers, but they strip them naked and leave them in the middle of the road. If that wasn’t enough revenge, they come back to the scene and retrieve the bodies, and then hide them behind a wall in the house for curious teenagers to happen upon. There’s also that car monument thing on the front lawn. Whatever helps you cope I guess.

Well, the pork patrol actually comes to the rescue, plugging the dad and whisking away the final girl to certain safety. Everything is finally hunky dory, a tangled web of conspiracy and conjecture laid down through stone cold logic. I admit to jumping the gun, wrongly assuming that the naked corpses were truly victims, completely free of blame. I think we can all learn a lesson from my failure here, that is, to be aware of, and be able to defeat, any and all assumptions when rationally examining something. After all, human beings are…holy shit! Jennifer suddenly appears at the cop car window, yelling “I’ll kill you bitch!” at the final girl. I just totally lost my train of thought. Well, who cares, that final jump scare was fucking awesome. I hope I didn’t give it away.

The credits roll to an "atmospheric" synth job that vaguely sounds like South Park’s Phillip Glass parody. This wave of sensuous electro brain massage leaves me to ponder many things…but mostly, I stop to ponder the final girl. Instead of the usual virtuous young woman, we get the slutty biker chick dressed in red.

Why does she survive when all of her dear friends are processed into cold cuts? I think the answer is in her most glaring character trait; she’s fucking the annoying fat ass in the Godzilla shirt. Like Mother Theresa before her, she is reserved a place in heaven (or in this case, gets to keep all of her limbs) for previous acts of charity. God bless her.

P.S. The director is Spaniard Jose Ramon Larraz, and I'd like to think he adds a bit of gothic euro stylishness to pure 80's American cheese. Perhaps that's wishful thinking on my part.


  1. I think a knoll is a hyena-like Dungeons and Dragons monster.

  2. @John
    So, the grass is a bit of camouflage? Not too impressive a way of hiding from wizards and warriors. The knoll should take a few cues from the displacer beast. Not that I'm a nerd or anything.

  3. Hey! This is Nathanael Hood from Forgotten Classics of Yesteryear. It’s almost time for the blogathon. You have yet to specify what day you wanted to post you article for the blogathon. So, I have tentatively signed you up for the 17th. Please email me or leave a comment on my blog telling me that you got this message. If you want to change it, please notify me before noon tomorrow.