HORROR HOUSE ON HIGHWAY 5 (1985)

horror-house-on-highway-5HORROR HOUSE ON HIGHWAY 5 (1985) –  And rest assured it’s the BEST little Horror House On Highway 5. This film was made during the 80s slasher craze when masked killers like Mike Myers and Jason Voorhees were all the rage.

Bartholomew, the killer in this film, honest-to-God wears a Richard Nixon mask while slicing and dicing his victims. I have no idea why his human prey don’t just slap on a Peter Rodino mask and kick this guy’s butt all over Highway 5.

There are three different types of bad scenes in this movie:

1. Scenes where it seems like the filmmakers started out trying to do an intentional comedy … Examples:

a. Note the walls being dotted with pinups of drag queens in Nazi paraphernalia in some early scenes … 

b. The scene where the corpse of one of the victims, deposited on a bus stop bench, keeps falling over against the annoyed commuter who sits down next to it …

And c. The very obvious way in which Bartholomew’s yarmulke-wearing accomplice is very, very clearly just making round swirls with his pen while his voice-over relates what he is supposedly writing on the paper before him.

2. Scenes where it seems like the filmmakers wanted to make a regular B-grade slasher film … Examples:

a. The earliest murder scene, where the victim’s corpse is stuffed under the sink to hide it, is done competently …

And b. The very ending of the film, which manages to be genuinely frightening (albeit not unexpected) while being a simultaneous salute to the “Leatherface slams the door shut” scene in the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, only with the viewer being shut IN the enclosed space with the killer, rather than OUTSIDE it.

3. Scenes that are so mind-numbingly ill-structured and so utterly incoherent that they are signs either of cosmic incompetence or of a deliberate attempt to at least make some money off the film, even if just from notoriety as a cinematic turkey … Examples: 

a. The scene where the car runs over a man who is nowhere near the vehicle …

b. The rapid change of hair-styles on our heroine during some scenes of the movie (mismatched shots like this in bad movies were so infamous even by the early 80s that these particular errors are what got me started wondering if all the lameness was deliberate) …

c. The scene where Bartholomew is supposed to have stabbed a man who was nowhere near the window he was lurking outside of …

d. The way the paniced driver dies from a very low-speed accident …

And e. ANYTHING that goes on inside Bartholomew’s lair, where all continuity from moment to moment goes down the toilet and we hear never-explained odd sounds like whips lashing, matching NOTHING in the on-screen action. Are we to assume the continuity editor AND the foley artist fell victim to Bartholomew here? 

But all of this is probably more thought than the filmmakers themselves put into this odd little bomb. 

Want to see a guy wearing a yarmulke with a swastika on it? This film’s got it!…Want to see the worst continuity this side of Ed Wood?…This film’s got it!…Want to hear relentlessly inane dialogue whose only redeeming feature is that at times you can’t understand any of it anyway?…This film’s got it!

Incidentally, rumor has it the Nixon mask worn by Bartholomew in this film was auctioned off at Sotheby’s for 1.5 million dollars. (I’m kidding!)

FOR MORE BAD MOVIE REVIEWS CLICK HERE:  https://glitternight.com/bad-movies/  

© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  

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