About a week before Halloween, we popped into Tesco to pick up some of the stuff we might need for the week ahead but also a few Halloween goodies, including sweets for trick or treaters (no one showed up so they’re all mine) and the odd DVD for the night itself. We picked up a low budget movie with a decent wrapping – it had one of those new fangled cardboard wraps around the main packaging and a spooky picture of one of the main characters walking away from a house in a creepy graveyard. Bugger it, we thought, we might as well give it a pop. I sorely wished we’d left that piece of shit on the shelves.
The House on Cemetery Hill (also known as Doll Cemetery) turned out to be, flat out, the worst movie I’ve seen in my entire life. Part of me feels bad about inflicting this review on you but the other side feels a duty to inform, certainly horror fans, to stay the hell away from it. And never be tempted by the packaging. It might have a spooky cover, it might read well but check out reviews before you pick something up.
The bloke who made this film, Steven M. Smith, is certainly a fan of 70’s and 80’s movies and tries like hell to get as many references into this crap as he can but everything about it is terrible. He references Jaws, Child’s Play and The Wicker Man, to name a few but, like I said, doesn’t do a very good job of it. That said, he’s not the only one. From the writing, to the direction, to the acting and editing, the special effects, the soundtrack and production, everything about this film is supremely awful. Miraculously, IMDB gives it an average of 5.2 stars out of ten. Anyone who rated it highly must have been drunk or stoned.
The premise of the film is more straightforward than the process of sitting through it. Brendan (played by Jon-Paul Gates, an actor who looks like he’s been shrunk in a compression machine and adorned with an Eddie Cochrane wig) is a writer, who suffers from block, and has been sent by his manager to a remote house in the countryside to rediscover his flair and come up with a promised 3rd book. After suffering an excrutiating scene on the way to the house, where a blonde woman in a red dress attempts to flirt with him while he’s asking for directions, he arrives to find a parcel containing a doll called Alfred, who he attempts to use as the inspiration to his book. Over the next few days, he is visited by strangers who warn him to follow Alfred’s rules and when he eventually turns against his inspiration, he is hunted down with tragic circumstances. The most tragic, by far, is that I sat and watched this film from start to finish in order to write this review.
My other half was just as confused and bewildered by this film as I was. She mused, partway through, that if the soundtrack had gone full bass and twang and it turned into a porn movie, it wouldn’t have surprised her in the least but I thought that an offence to porn actors, who could have done a much better job than any one of the people calling themselves actors in this film.
This movie is so bad, it doesn’t even have clips on Youtube, just the trailer and the whole film. Maybe you’ll laugh at how bad it is and that’s where we were in parts. The driver who drops off Brendan at the beginning puts on a voice that is supposed to sound fearful but is downright hilarious. The child doll turning from Chucky to Jason was as weird as it was ridiculous and the hammy acting that sees Brendan flirting and flattened by a hammer had me laughing and cringing at the same time.
Getting to the end, though, was pure endurance. SAS: Who Dares Wins is nothing compared to getting from start to end on this film. If anyone clicks on the second link and gets from start to finish, well done.
Anyway, here they are:
© 39 Pontiac Dream 2021
The Goodnight Vienna Audio file