GFF20: Spookies (1986) – Film Review


Glasgow Film Festival has unearthed Spookies as part of this year’s Future Cult strand. This curiosity with a fabled past is certainly an oddity but one not without its charms.

Taking a wrong turn, travelers find themselves trapped in a mysterious house. One horror after another threatens them as the sorcerer who lives within needs sacrifices to give eternal life to his beautiful bride.

This film began life as Twisted Souls when in post-production, complications arose. Directors Brendan Faulkner & Thomas Doran left the project and Troma editor Eugenie Joseph came in. New scenes were shot and edited in to become Spookies.

The direct lack of interaction by the protagonists with the elderly sorcerer creates a cognitive dissonance between the plot threads. The result feels cobbled together from what feels like two different movies to create a Frankenstein’s Monster-hybrid.

It is frustrating because individual sequences are actually quite entertaining. As one might expect given Troma’s pedigree, the practical effects are impressive and certainly make up for the questionable acting, dialogue and dubbing.

Not particularly creepy but it’s kooky. Mysterious but not spooky. Certainly all together ooky. It’s the Spookies moo-o-vie.

Director: Eugenie Joseph, Brendan Faulkner, Thomas Doran
Stars: Felix Ward, Maria Pechukas, Dan Scott
Runtime: 85 minutes 
Country: USA/Netherlands

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