HOUSE WEEK: House IV (1992)

You’d think I’d be done with House. Personally, I wish I’d stopped watching these movies with La Casa 3, because I have struggled through each of these. I’m nothing if not a completist and not watching one last film — after running the movie marathon that these films have become — shouldn’t be too bad, right?

Roger Cobb (William Katt, reprising his role from the first film for as long as it takes to get his paycheck) is now married to someone named Kelly and they have a daughter named Laurel. There’s no mention of his first wife, Sandy, or his son Jimmy. They visit the old Cobb house after Roger’s father dies — this must be a side universe, the universe where no one gives two shits about continuity — and have to deal with Burke, the stepbrother who keeps trying to get Roger to sell out on his promise to their father to never sell the house.

This isn’t the actual house from House, so that’s already a strike against this one. But if the interior of the house looks familiar to you, that’s because the same sets were used in The People Under the Stairs.

Were you excited to see William Katt? Well, he dies around five minutes in, the victim of a car crash that leaves his daughter in a wheelchair — the kind of wheelchairs that old ladies roll around in and leave in their bedrooms to haunt you (see Burnt Offerings). Like do they even make wicker wheelchairs any more?

Burke has the mafia making him try and take the house, as they want to dump illegal waste there. Their leader is a little person who needs a machine to remove all of the phlegm in his throat, I shit you not.

Roger is still in the house and various magical Native Americans are kindly enough to protect Roger’s family. Oh yeah — Denny Dillon, who was on HBO’s Dream On and the disastrous Jean Doumanian produced season of Saturday Night Live is in this as a maid.

I like one scene in here a lot, where snakes take over the minds of two mafia guys and they see one another as human snakes. The practical effects are great here, yet wasted for what’s a really quick scene.

There’s also a pizza that comes to life and sings a song before being tossed in a trash compactor. This scene is Troll 2 level inanity and stupidity. It’s also one of the few good parts of this slog of a motion picture.

PS – That’s Kane Hodder’s face in the pizza.

This is one of the late 80’s/early 90’s movies that has no real handle on when it should be a comedy and when it should be horror. If it was an Italian film, that would be forgiven because there’d be loads of gore.

You’ve seen worse movies — and worse House movies — than House IV. But in a world packed with strange new films to discover and old favorites to enjoy again and again, let me be the one to do the watching for you. You don’t really need to see this.

If you want to see it for yourself, Arrow recently put this out, along with some great box art. You can grab it at Diabolik DVD.

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