25 reasons why Amityville 1992 rocks!!!
Today over here at Staystillreviews we are celebrating everything Amityville 1992 since 25 years ago this highly underrated movie was released on home video. In celebrating, I decided to pinpoint 25 reasons why this movie rocks!!!
1) It was a huge improvement over the last entry.
- Hey, I'm not one to judge. I've watched the pervious entry in the series The Amityville Curse. I clearly remembering renting this movie over and over again as a kid and even have it's poster hanging in my den since the cover was something that always stuck with me. Still, despite it's cast it's a boring terrible movie. Amityville 1992 got the series back on track again briefly, sticking with the cursed object theme (part 4 was a lamp, this one was a clock, and after that a mirror.) This was a pretty strong entry, I personally feel that belongs on the same shelf as the first two films. At least they put effort into this one!!!
2) Daniel Licht's theme.
- Mr. Licht has been composing music for years now. He's best known currently for being the man responsible for the theme that played during the opening of Dexter. I always found this theme really beautiful. Not only did Licht mix in sounds of the clock, he was also able to make this theme sound like an old fashion score that feels like it belongs in a 1970's haunted house movie. Sorta stunned the soundtrack never got a proper release. Still you can hear the whole thing on Youtube!
3) Burwood/The West Coast setting.
- Much like Poltergeist, we get a neighborhood of track housing. Basically houses that all look alike, lined up in neat little rows. Something was becoming quite popular around this time and still is. I always think of the movie Pushing Tin where John Cusack lives in a neighborhood just like this one and accidentally pulls into the wrong driveway. This is the second film that has re-located the series to the West Coast (the 4th did this as well.) I gotta give the writers props for doing this change up. I mean with a house with this much history, you wanna make it somehow believable...I mean how long would it take for them to rip that sucker down?! The West Coast works perfectly for this movie and all of the outdoor scenes are actually really beautifully filmed.
4) The cursed clock.
- I love cursed objects. Have always been a sucker for them (Friday the 13th the series.) I've always said one day I'm getting the lamp, clock, and mirror from theses movies tattooed on me. Whoever designed this clock did a KILLER job. I'm dying to know if the thing still exists and who owns it?! This clock is beautiful, loved all the hand painted little designs all over it like the half moons.
5) The rich backstory.
- It's very rare that a horror movie would have a pretty solid screenplay. Sure this film isn't about to win any Oscars, but there's some underlining backstory mostly dealing with Andrea and Jacob. We learn that she's his ex-girlfriend, and how after Jacob's wife died she lived there briefly before the relationship became too intense (what exactly this means is beyond me. She does mention in a very casual playful way that he's dangerous.) that Andrea served almost as a step-mother to Lisa and Rusty, and is still somewhat involved with him, by swinging by the house to watch the kids for him from time to time. Clearly Andrea has moved on, starting grad school, and currently involved in a new relationship. Still, she's constantly sucked in and Jacob and him are still sleeping together. She makes it clear the reason why they never worked was because they just couldn't live together. Andrea's relationship with Lisa is sweet since clearly she wants to be a good female role model for her. There's tiny little hints all over the movie that there was more going on between Andrea and the family. That the ending truly is symbolic since she's finally breaking away from the same cycled emotional abusive relationship she's been trapped in for years. Heavy stuff.
6) The house.
- I have always loved this house. It's modern looking, yet it's design in the film screams the 1990's. I've even looked up this house, which I believe was currently for sale back in 2014 (dare to dream right?) and it seriously looks exactly the same.
7) Stephen Macht.
- I was lucky enough to meet Stephen almost a year ago. Here I had him sign my Laserdisc of this movie, and showed him how at the time Megan Ward and Damon Martin from this film were my phone background. He of course was highly amused, and told me a little bit about making this film. I loved when he told me he saw it has a way to play McBeth. He gave it his all since it truly is a family tragedy and joked if he ever ran into Damon Martin again, he would tell him to watch out for me since I'm such a big fan. Oh Stephen, if only you knew. Mr. Macht is a great actor (great memories watching him in this, The Monster Squad, and Skelton Crew growing up.)
8) Peaches the dog.
- Oh Peaches the dog. Such a badass. Loved how she turns down the pop tart Rusty tosses down for her. Or how the clock somehow possesses her to attack Jacob (Cujo ain't got nothing on this dog!) Sadly Peaches doesn't get the best ending and I'll never look at pool filters the same way again!
9) KNB effects.
- KNB has had my respect for years, starting with such films as Day Of The Dead (where some of the members first met) Intruder, and Evil Dead II. These guys have worked on countless films, kicking ass in the world of effects, even becoming Oscar winners!!! They really were able to highlight and display these crazy skills on this movie. There are plenty of great effects moments (one of the best is Andy getting sucked into the floor.) I guess there is footage of them working on this film, mostly with a Peaches puppet. Dying to see this!!!
10) Andrea, a pretty kick ass female character.
- Andrea is played by the lovely Shawn Weatherly who won Ms. USA as well as Ms. Universe back in 1980. Becoming an actress, she became a star on the show Baywatch, and played one of my favorite female characters in a horror movie in Amityville 92. She's not this young teenager running and screaming. She's a woman in her early thirties, she's beautiful, smart (going to grad school), and honestly isn't guilted...mostly when it comes to sex. She's strong willed, but clearly has some hidden issues dealing with her past relationship with Jacob. I love how she honestly doesn't give up, even until the very end. The woman is thrown through a glass table, and STILL is able to fight back. What I loved about this movie was how Andrea truly loved Jacob's children, and how even at the end she was Hell bent on destroying the clock even if it meant killing herself. The ending of her finally walking out is beyond satisfying.
11) Megan Ward.
- I've yet to meet the lovely and beautiful Megan Ward (queen of the 90's) Still, a few years back my friend Jeanette was awesome enough to go to a convention she was attending and had my Amityville 92 laserdisc signed by her. Not only did Megan sign it, she also recovered a video to send to me!!! I love Megan's character of Lisa. She starts off as the sweet daughter who wears yellow overalls and packs whole tomatoes for lunch. It isn't until the evil of the clock possesses her that we get a whole different side of her. In a very iconic scene, we watch Lisa stare at her reflection, before slowly becoming turned off as black slime drips down (is this the same black slime from Creepshow 2? One can only hope.) Well, she becomes possessed which makes her into a slutty big hair, cocktease. LOVE the scene of her entering the kitchen "Borrowed dad's jacket...think he'll mind?" She even tricks her horny jock boyfriend down in the basement wearing nothing but his football jacket before watching him get sucked into the floor. The most legendary scene has to be when Rusty enters his bedroom thinking he's going to save his sister, picking her up as the room is drenched in blood and she's crying over and over again "It's so horrible Rusty! So horrible!" When he asks what is? She smiles and licks his ear saying "That you're my brother..." This scene has always been my favorite, so much the image of Rusty holding Lisa has been drawn for me several times my artists (including Nathan Thomas Millner from Scream Factory) Her "death" scene has been featured on the youtube channel most movie scenes of all time, but I gotta disagree. It's awesome!!!
12) Damon Martin.
- Ah Damon. Our very own mascot at Staystillreviews. I've gone on and on over how much Damon's brief acting career has always fascinated me. One of my favorite movies he's appeared in (in fact his last acting role until he came out of retirement for a cameo for Pee Wee's Big Holiday) is Amityville. Megan Ward confirmed he stopped acting because he had just gotten a record deal with the band he was in. Damon has gone on to bigger things (such as being a popular mural artist, being hired all over the country.) Still, when Damon was 28 he was still able to pull off the role of Rusty, the metalhead teenage son who is the first to figure out something is wrong about the clock. Not only is Damon easy on the eyes, he also plays a really great part. It's beyond me why this guy wasn't in more horror movies. Still, his character kicks major ass beside Andrea. Not only does he have to turn against his sister and father after they have become possessed, he needs to prove his innocence when the police begin to suspect he's the person behind the sudden "accidents" happening around the neighborhood. I've always felt there was more to Rusty than what meets the eye. There's clearly some tension between him and his father. I would like to believe that a few years down the line Rusty met up with Andrea, and the two had a very passionate love affair that lasted 25+ years. Somebody write that sequel!!!
13) Tony Randel directing.
- I can honestly say Mr. Randel has worked with two of my favorite performers (Martin, and Oliver Parker from Hellraiser II.) I feel Randel was the best person for a job like this. It's clear he's a strong director with a good eye and makes this movie visually stunning. He's able to make a fun horror movie, with a really great final act. He knocked our socks off with Hellraiser II, and did it again a few years later with this movie. This guy has to make more horror movies!!!
14) Leonard's bathrobe.
Oh Leonard. I love this guy. He's the current boyfriend of Andra. A shrink, who clearly has a bug up his ass. His lines are so laughable, as is his over the top speeches and reactions. Still, the guy is cute, and you can't help but feel a little bad for him. Still, talk about balls, going to the house where your girlfriend's ex boyfriend lives and has sex just a few rooms down the hall from him?! Savage! Still, the true star of this movie is when Leonard wears Andrea's bathrobe after having a roll in the hay, and goes downstairs to eat some ice cream. This whole scene cracks me up, but what makes it even better is Leonard wearing that fucking bathrobe. Talk about feeling the fantasy!
- Iris was a pretty kickass character. She's an older woman who lives in the surrounding neighborhood and has the gift of second sight. The moment Jacob arrives home from Long Island she senses something is wrong as she takes her nightly walk. I love the shot of her staring at the house terrified and having flashes of the original house. Iris is good friends with Rusty (I love how Rusty the metalhead skips school to play chess with an elderly lady.) Still, she's the first to figure out the story behind this evil clock, helping Rusty try to solve the clues on how to stop it. Also the woman wins best death ever in this movie.
16) Has nothing to do with the book by John G. Jones.
- I own a few of the Amityville novels, and I ordered The Evil Escapes by John G Jones in which part 4, 6, and 7 are supposed to be based off of. I've never truly finished this book (something I plan on changing by the end of the summer.) but I noticed that the lamp, clock, and mirror aren't objects used in the original novel. Now this isn't a bad thing. They used the overall idea of cursed objects from the house and went with it. I give them props for being original. The objects I do remember reading about so far in that book were a painting, and a power drill maybe?
17) This scene.
- I adore the Sterling siblings. One of the coolest scenes shows the night after Jacob has been brought home from the hospital, Andrea has heated up the twins some tasty TV dinners. Here Rusty tells Lisa about how once a dog tastes blood, it wants more, and more, and more. Getting up to fetch the phonebook for Andrea, there's a great tracking shot showing Rusty as he tells a story about a little dog eating it's owner as he walks into the living room past the clock. He's seriously not gone more than thirty seconds. This is all brilliantly done in one single shot. When he returns he finds the kitchen empty, his sister and Andrea gone, and the table cleared. Confused, he stands puzzled when Andrea walks in, her hair up in a towel, wearing the famous bathrobe and asks where he went? When Rusty asks what? She shrugs and says he got up in the middle of dinner and never came back. Here we see the clock has the ability to shift time. Scary stuff.
18) Mrs. Tetmann
- Otherwise known as Uncle Frank's wife from Home Alone who has to put silverware in her purse during the flight. This other iconic role features this lovely actress sporting some killer jogging suits. This neighbor is another who's affected by the clock's power as well as her dog Peaches who turns into a regular hound from hell.
19) Pays tribute to the original.
- What I really like about this movie is the very subtle nods to the original films and novels. We have a man driven insane, possessed if you may by the power within the clock. You have sexual tension between siblings, one of which wants to commit incest. Also lots of lots of black slime!!!
20) Dick Miller cameo.
- Dick Miller is a total boss. Love his little cameos in movies. This is just another example on why this movie rocks. Mr. Miller plays a VERY pissed off neighbor who's hedges burn down out of nowhere. You can tell Miller's character hates children, dogs, basically everything. Hey, maybe he took a lot of pride in those hedges...we'll never know.
22) Young and the restless song.
A song that's played several times during the movie is a pretty catchy one by a band called the Bang Gang (...) this little diddy screams early 90's rock and has been featured on plenty of Chip The Movie Loving Kid's mixed tapes. Click below to listen to this hair banging jam!
23) Lisa's death.
- Lisa's death...oh...Lisa's death. Well, this was a choice. I love the entire scene between Lisa and Rusty in his bedroom, as she tries to screw...then murder him. Crawling on top of him, trying to make him kiss her (honey, when it's right it's right.) Lisa looks to actually be trying to break his neck when Rusty thinks fast and shoves his guitar plug into Lisa's mouth and turns the volume up. The volume...the fucking volume. Well, in true Spinal Tap fashion he cranks it to 11 and sparks goes flying. Lisa zaps away, and falls over dead. Oh boy...
24) Dying to get a proper blu-ray release.
- People called me crazy when I was bitching and moaning about how Waxwork and Waxwork II deserved the blu-ray treatment. Well, who's laughing now! I would LOVE to see the later sequels be released as either a boxset or pack in the future. This little baby is out of print and the bare bones DVD goes for BIG movie on eBay. Still, my dream would see this on a crystal clear transfer with some commentaries and maybe even those behind the scenes of KNB working on this film. Hum...I guess only time will tell!!!
25) Twist ending.
- A big reason why this movie has always stood out to me is how solid the screenplay was. This film's last chapter seriously kicks ass as Andrea and Rusty are trapped inside the house with crazy Lisa and Jacob. Fighting side by side, the clock of course plays some tricks, resulting in Rusty de-aging and turning into a three year old. Alone, Andrea has defeated her ex-lover and is now all alone. As the clock begins to speed up time, she starts to age at a frightening rate. Determined to destroy the clock, she starts smashing into the walls, only to discover the entire inside of the house now looks like the inside of a clock, gears, wheels, and everything. Knowing she doesn't have long, she turns the gas on the fireplace and with the last of her strength lights a lighter and blows herself up along with the clock. Here a strange Waxwork II like worm hole happens where the clock uses the last of it's power to try and prevent itself from being destroyed, turns time back to a few days earlier. Andrea wakes up in the living room, holding the same exact tool she was holding at the beginning. Here everything plays out exactly how it did in the beginning of the movie (beyond clever if you ask me) only this time Andrea knows what Jacob is bringing to the house, and as soon as he opens the package in the living room a crazed expression overcomes her as she takes the clock out and smashes it to pieces, preventing any of the film's events from happening. Overcome with emotion, she stands back near tears as she grabs her bags and once and for all walks out of Jacob's life, leaving this painful cycle. When Jacob asks what the Hell that was all about, she turns on the front porch, sniffles and says the iconic line "It's about time that's what." This line could be taken so many different ways, but she leaves like a total boss lady as a puzzled Jacob and Lisa walk away only to have Rusty stand in the doorway, and spots his friend Iris, now alive. Somehow the two have sensed what has happened, or remembers it all. Rusty smiles and says "Pure evil..." Iris smiles, and winks before walking away. With that Rusty closes his door, and so ends this epic films.
So happy 25th Amityville 1992!!! You rock!!!