Suburban Hell (Invitation to Hell, 1984)

So, if Deadly Blessing was mediocre? Invitation to Hell is a bit of a campy and predictable take. It opens with a driver who is making his way through a community. He is distracted and accidentally runs a woman over. It is okay, because she is Susan Lucci and is not going to die in the first three minute. She points a finger at the guy and he blows up or bursts into flame…I have already forgotten.

But the real focus of the (TV) movie Robert Urich as Matt Winslow. Matt is a scientist who has taken a high level job that requires his family to move to a prestigious community. There is an elite club run by Jessica Jones. She immediately sets about trying to convince Matt to join her club. While her family wants to join, Matt does not trust her.

Jessica tells Matt’s wife Pat that she could make an exception to the standard requirement of the entire family joining. So Pat and her kids commit to the club…with a whole selling your soul type of ceremony.

As time passes, Matt starts to feel like an outsider in both his family and the community at large. There are mysterious deaths and ominous goings ons…but um…well, it is pretty obvious between the title and early moments in the film…Matt has to save his family from hot demon lady.

I wish I could say this is campy fun…but it is boringly predictable and silly.

Fishies Pt 3 (Piranha, 1995)

piranha_1995_posterProbably the most interesting fact of the Piranha remake is that a twelve year old Mila Kunis plays the daughter of the Greatest American Hero.

In 1995, Roger Corman and Showtime started remaking Corman “Classics” like Not of This Earth and Humanoids From the Deep.

Piranha was part of this series and the worst thing about it?  It is not bad or good.  It is just there.  It exists.  It is a pretty straight remake, just with a different cast.

William Katt (The Greatest American Hero & House) and Alexandra Paul (Baywatch & Christine) head up the cast.  The film follows  the original beat for beat.

There is not much to say, the effects are updated (yet there are many effects shots from the original film used in place of shooting new footage).  But the film brings nothing new to the story and ends up being so close to the original, it feels pointless.

The Showtime films somehow managed to tame the source material, which ends up making them…well…toothless.  It lacks Dante’s flair and has no chance of unseating the original.  This explains why the film is largely forgotten.

Just one random observation of both the original and the remake.  Somehow, when people start getting attacked while on docks or in boats, they are unable to remove legs or arms from the water…people are even pulled from boats by the piranha.  Because they are super strong…I guess?

Blog at

Up ↑