Don’t Go In The House (1980)

Overall Rating:

Nastiness Rating:

Directed by: Joseph Ellison
Written by: Joseph Ellison/Joe Masefield/Ellen Hammill

Donny (Dan Grimaldi) is a little bit on the crazy side. A co-worker goes up in flames right in front of him and all he can do is stare. He says that he froze up, but it seemed a bit more like indifference.

When he goes home, he finds his mother has died. He hears voices tell him that “Now you can do anything!” He runs around like a 10 year old playing his music loud, jumping on chairs, smoking…then we see the darkness that was his mother. She used to punish him by holding his arm over the burner of the stove.

So what’s a grown man to do? Start burning young women from town, of course!

From then on, Donny keeps seeing his dead mother all over the place, admonishing him for being a “bad boy.”

Well, mom, it’s kinda your fault.

This movie is pretty much ONLY remembered for that initial burning scene. He finds a random woman at a florist, gets her into his house (because she’s completely stupid and follows him in there) and knocks her out as she’s trying to call a cab.

She wakes up totally naked and hanging from a hook in a metal room. She struggles a bit and then he bursts in dressed in a fire-proof hazmat suit, splashing her with gasoline. That’s when the blowtorch comes out.

The scene is pretty graphic, but it pales in comparison to a lot of scenes that we see today in mainstream films.

What’s actually more disturbing is the misogyny.

Here’s the deal: misogyny runs rampant through horror films, especially slasher films like this. This movie tries to make misogyny its point by basically saying, “Hurting women is bad, mmkay. And it comes from abuse, mmkay.”

Unfortunately, that message is pretty much undermined by making all of the female characters either “evil bitches” or just plain dumb. Sure, that first victim is kinda strong at first, but she still follows this guy she doesn’t know into his house alone. Then, the last two victims are particularly stupid. They get in his truck and head to his house to party with him. “No one will mind?!” They’re written to be victims.

Of course, they have to be saved by Donny’s buddy and his priest.

In no way is this a good movie. I guess the acting was ok, but that’s about the only bright spot…and it ain’t so bright. I guess the ending is alright, when the dead, burned bodies come back to life to kill him.

Only see this one if you’re into this sort of movie. Otherwise, it’s totally skippable. Maybe not the worst Nasty, but certainly not a good one.

LOW POINT: That first burning scene, of course. It scared a bunch of people for life back in the early 80s.

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