WEIRDO’WEEN #22: The Amityville Horror [1979]

weirdoween2015Because nothing is scarier than a film that claims to be based on a true story, right? When it comes to marriage, newlyweds generally move into a large house, raise a family, and live happily ever after..right? But what happens when the house you bought had a group of mass murder happen inside? Or what if there were spirits of the dead who still remained inside, wanting you out? That’s what happened to George and Kathy Lutz [and their three children] when they move into the colonial house on the river’s edge seemed ideal: quaint, spacious and amazingly affordable. They had hoped this amazing home would become their dream, only for everything to end up in terror!

As if this movie isn’t already terrifying enough – I mean, I used to hate it for how scared I’d get – Stephanie and I actually watched a documentary on the house itself earlier last month, and everything I knew about the story went from scary to fear. Although there has been multiple versions of this film/story told; today, we’re going to talk about The Amityville Horror:

weirdo'ween-#22Everyone knows the legend about that house in Amityville, New York – the Dutch Colonial on 112 Ocean Avenue. The movie version of the story begins in 1974, when Ronnie DeFeo Jr. murdered his family inside the family house, shooting them all in their sleep. Not even a year later, George and Kathy Lutz bought the house and moved in with their three children and the family dog. Even though they were aware of the tragedy that occurred in the home, George had made plans to fix it up and start a new life with his family, especially after their recent marriage. After all, “houses don’t have memories”..right? But then, things went wrong – Horribly wrong. After only living there for 28 days, the family left the house and fled Amityville, never to turn back.

Of course, the story was first a book, Jay Anson had written a retelling of what happened inside during the month that the Lutz family lived there; and his novel was a bestseller. Because of this, there are several different variations on what happened during those 28 days, even with George and Kathy Lutz themselves. So, for those of you who already know the story, you’ll notice that it’s hard to distinguish what is and isn’t true facts. Some of you may not even believe it at all – assuming it’s a senseless cash-grab. However, I am one of those people that has started to believe in this account of a haunted house, after watching rather intelligent interviews with the Lutz family and paranormal investigators on scene; especially in that documentary I saw a month ago, But that’s besides the point. What matters most about The Amityville Horror is how it translates itself as a horror movie.

For starters, the setting in the movie means everything. The movie itself was filmed in New Jersey, and not actually filmed in Amityville, but the house chosen is particularly creepy to look at, especially during scenes that take place at night. Those two windows on the top floor start to become characters of their own. They stare out aimlessly into the night, giving the viewer this horrible feeling that they’re being watched.. at all times. There is also enough ghost-like activity [Paranormal Activity? No. we’re not going that route!] going on to keep you interested in what’s going to happen next. Just don’t expect the evil inside to start right away. In fact, it builds slowly, creating this wonderful sense of dread..It’s as if you know it’s going to happen, but you can’t tell when. You truly have to appreciate a good build-up without that much special effects to appreciate what the movie is trying to accomplish, and it works surprisingly well! When it finally picks up – more on this later – the film brings restless terror with great piles of blood caused by the curse and the usual ghastly situations that come with a movie about a haunted house.

I really appreciate the creepy atmosphere that finds itself present in many scenes. The use of dark lighting in the house along with the music felt like it was effective and certainly made me fear the house. On top of that, the house that was used looks just like the real house in Amityville. I really enjoy knowing that the filmmakers really put the very most effort into the Lutz family’s claims onto the big screen – making it as realistic as possible: the walls dripped with ooze,  ‘Jody‘ was often mentioned and briefly seen, George woke up at 3:00 AM all the time, the flies were appearing seemingly at random, and supernatural voices were heard. It was great to see them make a film adaptation that was accurate to the claimed events, especially in such a well done manner!

And then there is the things I didn’t like in the movie..

Firstly, the acting feels wooden. Margot Kidder and James Brolin aren’t what one would call very good actors, and what’s worse is that their chemistry is quite ineffective. Unfortunately, this is proved by the fact that some of the dialogue for the George and Kathy Lutz [as characters] feels kind of cheesy and therefore; laughable [“You make me feel like a kid in the back seat of a car.” I mean, what?! who says that?] It doesn’t help the fact that these two are supposed to be the main characters, it’s really off putting and it just draws your interest towards waiting to see something creepy to happen in the house even more. Which brings me to my next issue. [I did like Rod Steiger‘s performance as The Priest, though!]

The film moves rather slowly, especially in around the middle mark. The film wastes a lot of time on [not so interesting] drama sequences, and sometimes forgets that it is supposed to be a haunted house movie. Seeing this newly married couple argue makes sense, [what couple doesn’t argue?] it’s just that it isn’t why I’m watching this particular film. Also, the editing came off as amateur as it gets, almost to the point of hilarity! These are arguably the most important flaws, because they’re the ones that should be done right – except they aren’t.

Overall, The Amityville Horror is a slow-burner for sure. Unfortunately, what we get in the end is barely worth the 28 days of build-up [or in our case, 2 hours] While you’re watching, your common sense tells you that leaving the house a few weeks earlier would have probably been the smartest move, but I guess you just can’t walk away from a “killer” deal, right? For a movie that used to scare me, it isn’t nearly as terrifying as I remember it. Sure, it’s an effective film, but being as it’s trying [and sometimes failing] to be a haunted house film, most people will probably just watch the next Paranormal Activity film for cheap scares, instead.

Also, If you have an idea for the next weirdo’ween review[s], please let me know which movie[s] you’d like to see next! If you found yourself to enjoy this particular review – and want to see more – then take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 120+ likes almost at 130!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; as well as links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! Join me tomorrow morning when I talk about weirdo’ween #23! – So STAY TUNED!


REAL HORROR: the dentist who creates mutations! [somewhat NSFW]

Ever wanted to make you own monster? Imagine: you could choose it’s number of eyes and/or it’s skin tone; it could literally be your monster. Now, let’s meet Morgan Loebel, a dentist technician from Kansas turned ‘Mutant Maker’. Morgan makes his very own creatures, monsters and mutated masterpieces out of polymer clay, and I must say.. they’re horrifyingly disgusting! [yet, I love the realism] Apparently this guy’s work is nothing new to some, but I’ve only just stumbled upon it and I’m shocked at the details!

After spending over 20 years making thousands of false teeth through his work as a dental lab technician, Loebel seems to have found his true calling after starting to use Polymer Clay back in 2012. Good thing too, because these monsters are probably the most life-like I’ve ever seen.. He claims that spending his days ‘fabricating realistic, detailed crowns, bridges and other dental prosthesis’ played a key role in his ‘progression from dental tech to mutant maker.’ He now makes anything from phone cases, to necklaces [with suspended teeth] to Necronomicon art; and for those curious – I will be posting pictures of some of his work at the end of this post. They’re even available for purchase on His Etsy page, where you can find one of a kind collectables ranging from hand sculpted polymer clay items to original artwork! According to his Etsy page, he’s been asked the same question since the beginning, which he answers with: “yes..all realistic eyes and teeth that are used in my works are handmade and you cannot get them anywhere else but here.” His work takes several weeks to complete, but the end result is staggering. It’s truly unique.

Take a look at the picture above, Morgan made this for a robot art contest online and even claims that he may be putting it up for sale soon! Though, like many of the comments on the photo agree; I feel he should keep it, as a personal trophy of his accomplishments thus far! According to the description of the picture, he always thought nano technology was interesting, With his idea for the ‘robot art’ contest began as a frightening article he had read a couple years ago on how these nanobots could be weaponized! So naturally, this is what he came up with, and I have to say; it’s creepy – but probably how things would turn out!!

Now I know you guys have been patient with my incessant praising of the art, and the explanations, so I’ll give you what you’ve been waiting for: the pictures. shall we begin with a phone case? remember, all the eyes/teeth on these “pieces of art” are fake, regardless of how real they seem to look! [somewhat NSFW]

It’s just mind numbing to realize that the teeth, the eyes, and even the saliva is fake. You can tell that Morgan worked with teeth for awhile, because he certainly knows how to add to the realism.. But, let’s say you like your phone case, and you’re not interested in buying one of the above cases; what about a necklace or two? For your loved one[s], of course!

I mean, I can only imagine the look on people’s faces if you walked by wearing one of these around your neck! I’m not entirely a fan of the second necklace [above] but I’m sure there are people that do! The last picture I’ll share [I’ll let his pages do the talking for him!] is a commissioned ‘portrait’ he did for someone.. What I’m saying is, that instead of just the face [like the phone cases] he actually made a portrait statue for someone – and it’s probably [in my opinion] the best one yet. Check it, below!

In closing, Morgan Loebel definitely has a ‘certain kind of fan base’, no doubt especially in the horror scene. The details, and the realism just make his art ‘pop’, which shows us that some people are just great at what they do. And just think, Morgan started as a Dentist Tech.. If you still can’t get enough of his ‘work’, be sure to check out his Etsy page or even his page on Facebook, where he sometimes takes requests from fans!

Another thing, if you found yourself to enjoy this article, please take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 100+ likes – thanks so much!] By clicking “like”, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted. I also share links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you guys to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share the page with your family and friends!


FRIDAY FUN FACT: The Exorcist [1973]


Now before anyone jumps at me, I actually mentioned that this post would be late over on Facebook since I knew that I’d be busy up until Christmas. The real problem is the fact that Boxing Day happened to fall on a Friday and I got caught up working til late, plus Christmas. It was a very hectic time, but alas, it’s finally over. [Expect an After-Christmas Post soon] On this edition of Friday Fun Fact, we’re going to talk about one film that has been called: controversial, Satan worshiping – and it’s even gone so far as being called “The Scariest Movie Of All Time” .. that’s right everyone, we’re going to be talking about The [infamous] Exorcist.

I remember the first time I had seen the film, I was mortified by some of the things they were showing on screen [fellow fans know what I’m talking about] such as vomiting on a Priest to even a certain Crucifix! This film did a lot of things, but one real thing was it felt really..fucked up.

The movie follows a movie actress taking up temporary residence in Washington D.C. who has some trouble: the script for the movie she’s filming seems inadequate. Her Ex, who is also happens to be the father of her daughter, Regan, neglects to call the girl on her birthday. Meanwhile, Father Karras, a Priest [and a psychiatrist] is slowly losing his faith; as he’s dealing with a sick mother who needs medical care he hasn’t the money to provide for her. Another Priest, Father Merrin, has just returned from Iraq with senses of evil. These three individuals come together when the sweet and cheerful young Regan turns  into a cursing and violent person . But her “sickness” is beyond the reach of a medical doctor or a psychiatrist – what Regan needs is an Exorcist. [interested yet? read on!]

but did you know?

Actress Mercedes McCambridge, who provided the voice of the demon version of Regan, insisted that she swallow raw eggs and commit to chain smoking to “change” her vocalizations. More so, McCambridge, who had problems with alcohol abuse in the past, wanted to drink loads of whiskey because she claimed that she knew alcohol would distort her voice even more, and an almost crazed state of mind for the character. When she was giving up sobriety [for the sake of the scenes], she demanded that her Priest be on set to counsel her during the process of doing the scene[s]. At William Friedkin‘s [the director] direction, McCambridge was also bound to a chair with pieces of a torn sheet at her neck, arms, wrists, legs and feet .. in order to get a more “realistic sound” of a demon struggling against restraints! McCambridge later said that the experience gave her a horrific rage, while Friedkin has admitted that her performance – as well as the extremes that the actress put herself through to gain authenticity of a “demon voice” – still terrifies him to this day – and suddenly; me too!

[a face only a mother could love]

Remember this scene? Well did you know that when Regan projectile vomits at Father Karras, it actually only required one take? As it turns out, the vomit was originally intended to hit him in the chest. Instead, the plastic tubing that sprayed the vomit accidentally misfired, resulting in hitting him in the face! [ugh!]  The look of shock and disgust while wiping away the vomit is 100% genuine from Jason Miller [who played Father Karras], and he later admitted in an interview that he was very angered by this mistake. In other interviews, Miller has stated that he had gotten into a major confrontation with Director William Friedkin after Friedkin went to extreme lengths such as firing a gun near his ear to get an “authentic reaction” from him. He angrily told Freidkin that “he is an actor, and that he didn’t need a gun to act surprised or startled. “

For our last piece of trivia, we see the scene above [the Language Lab], there is a sign that says TASUKETE!“. While some North American viewers may just see this as a sign in a language lab: it’s actually the Japanese term for “Help Me!” used in the sense of asking, pleading or even praying, for help. Talk about the little things that tie the film together!

So that’s The Exorcist, It’s a horrific film, and still stands as one of the scariest of all time. It’s been banned, considered very controversial, and even has people believing in Demonic Possession.  How do you feel about the movie? Is it as scary as everyone claims? Or is it on your “Chuck-It-List” ? [a list of movies you’d never watch] Let me know down below, or over on Facebook in the comments over there!

I don’t care if that’s pea-soup.. that’s gnarly as fuck.


FRIDAY FUN FACT: Poltergeist [1982]

Welcome back, and welcome to the second official Friday Fun Fact post here on warrenisweird! This time around, we’re keeping with the theme of classic films — a classic film that used to scare me like no other: Poltergeist. [although it’s now one of, if not, my favorite supernatural horror film] In fact, to this day, I still can’t look at that damn clown without cowering in fear; but that may have to do with my general fear of clowns.. That fear ruins a lot for me!

Poltergeist follows the Freelings, your typical suburban family. We have the husband, Steve, who sells real estate in their growing neighbourhood and Diane, his wife, who is a stay at home mom caring for their three kids: Dana, Robbie and the youngest — Carol Anne. But suddenly, strange things begin to happen in their house: such as cupboard doors opening and closing on their own, furniture move by itself and chairs go sliding across the kitchen floor. The family is a bit of sceptical at first but eventually these happenings become a big enough issue when Carol Anne disappears into a “nether world” where she can only be reached [well, “talked to”] through white noise on the television. When a team of paranormal investigators move into the house and claim that these forces are evil and very powerful, the family learn that they require the services of Tangina: a woman who has dealt with this sort of situation before..

20141218-224905.jpgbut did you know?

actress Heather O’Rourke, who played young Carol Anne, and Dominique Dunne, who played the teenage daughter Dana in the movie, are both buried in the same cemetery: Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles. Dunne was strangled into a brain-death by her boyfriend in 1982; which, scary enough, is the year of this film’s release. While only six years later, O’Rourke ended up dying of intestinal stenosis.. while we’re on the morbid topic of death, let’s talk about my personal favorite piece of trivia from the film: [which is also the most well known] remember the scene where Diane, the wife, is in the muddy waters and there’s skeletons surrounding her? [see below] The production crew actually decided to use real human skeletons because it was decided that it’d be cheaper to purchase and use them instead of cheaper, plastic bones! I mean, what the hell?20141218-231650.jpgAlright, let’s move onto our final piece of trivia that’s hopefully a little more light-hearted, eh? Something that doesn’t involve skeletons or murder: In the scene where Robbie is looking at the [fucking terrifying] clown doll, You can see a Darth Vader action figure case on the shelf behind him! [unfortunately, I couldn’t find a decent screenshot of this from Google, so unfortunately — we have to look at this monstrosity instead!]

Talk about the stuff of nightmares! I hope I’ve taught you something new about the movie Poltergeist, even if that “something” is that clowns are the spawn of the Devil! [just me? Okay…] be sure to follow me over on Facebook where I share all sorts of horror goodies [some of which, aren’t found on here!]


FRIDAY FUN FACT: Gremlins [1984]

well, he doesn’t look like he’s having any fun at all..

Welcome to warrenisweird‘s newest segment: Friday Fun Facts. In this series, I will be sharing various trivia about a different film every Friday. Whether I tackle well known [horror] films, or films nobody knows/that haven’t been released yet, there will a little something for everyone! For today being the first in the Friday Fun Fact series, I’m going to talk about one of my more favorite classics from the 80‘s: Gremlins.

Everybody, and I mean everybody, has at least heard of the movie Gremlins: it’s a cute story about a cuddly looking Mogwai named Gizmo who has a specific set of rules attached to him: (1) no bright lights, (2) don’t get him wet, and (3) never feed him after midnight, no matter how much he begs! These rules were set in place for the following reasons: bright light physically hurts him, and sunlight can kill him. If he gets wet, he pops out more Mogwai. If fed after midnight, a Mogwai will spin into a cocoon and undergo metamorphosis; turning him into an evil, trouble-making gremlin, causing all sorts of havoc!

but did you know?

In the original script for the film, there were a handful of dark[er] scenes that were taken out from the final script, which included the Gremlin decapitating Billy‘s Mother, and actually eating his dog. [jealous of another pet, much?] There was even a scene planned which had the Gremlins invade a McDonald’s, and ultimately – feast on all the customers inside the restaurant! if that isn’t dark enough, Mr. Hanson, the science teacher, originally died with dozens of hypodermic needles stuck in his face. But, by request from Spielberg, this scene was re-shot so it with just a single needle in the ass. doesn’t sound like the Gremlins I know and love!
 Another major change from the original draft to the finished script was that the cute and heroic Gizmo was supposed to turn into Stripe [above] by the end of the first film. It wasn’t until Steven Spielberg stepped in and completely removed this idea, with the assumption that audiences would probably fall in love with the character of Gizmo, and would want him to stay good natured and present throughout the whole film. In the end, Stripe ended up being a mischievous Mogwai that becomes main villain of the film/sequel.

Look carefully! In the scene where the Gremlins are watching Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs at the local cinema, one of the Gremlins wears Mickey Mouse ears.

So that about wraps up the first [of many] edition of Friday Fun Fact here on warrenisweird. I hope I helped you look at the classic Gremlins film[s] in a different light; and if you have any suggestions or requests for future Friday Fun Facts, let me know in a comment or over on the Facebook Page!