GRANDSON OF MADE FOR TV MOVIE WEEK: Amityville: The Evil Escapes (1989)

On a rainy night, six priests battle the infamous Amityville House until a demon finds its way into a lamp. That lamp is later sold in a yard sale for $100 to Helen Royce (Peggy McCay, TV’s Days of Our Lives) and her friend Rhona. That very same lamp gives Helen deadly tetanus, killing her nearly instantly. If you’re still with me after that incredibly stupid beginning, well, I’m here to tell you it doesn’t get much better. But hey — that doesn’t mean this movie can’t be fun.

Originally airing on May 12, 1989 on NBC, this continuation of the Amityville Horror series doesn’t even need the house, not when it has that evil lamp, which is now in the home of Helen’s sister, Alice Leacock (first wife of Ronald Reagan, Jane Wyatt). Alice’s main character quality is that she is a bitter bitch who instantly judges nearly every single person in this film.

Her daughter Nancy (Patty Duke, who once lost control to a hot dog) and her three kids Amanda, Bria and Jessica have all moved in with Alice. The lamp causes some argument in the family, but Jessica is drawn to it. Soon, it’s doing all sorts of incredible things, like putting birds into toaster ovens, cutting off boyfriend’s hands with the garbage disposal, drowning plumbers in tar and making their cars drive away, and vandalizing people’s bedrooms.

The police and the church get involved as they all battle the lamp. Let me remind you of that one more time — they all fight a lamp. This is also a movie where a small child nearly wipes out his family with a chainsaw. Of course, the lamp is destroyed, but it finds its way into the family cat. Such are the depths that the Amityville franchise has sunk to. Writer/director Sandor Stern might get some of the blame, as he also wrote the original. But let’s cut that dude a break. After all, he was behind one of the oddest films ever, Pin!

This one is hard to find. I got mine for $1 at an Exchange store, so you might get lucky, too. Or unlucky. It depends on your POV on bad sequels and made for TV films.

 

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