I always try to think about what movies I’d show together if I did a theme night at a theater. Warlock Moon is the kind of 1970’s weirdness that would pair well with 1972’s Terror House, a cannibal comedy that predates The Texas Chainsaw Massacre for its depiction of a family that eats human beings together.
You may know Laurie Walters from Eight Is Enough, but around here, she’s a bit more celebrated for being in the 1972 made-for-TV movie The People, which also has Kim Darby and an incredulous William Shatner, shocked that kids can fly. Here, she plays Jenny Macallister, a college student who follows John Devers, a journalist played by Joe Spano (who is probably known to TV lovers as Lt. Henry Goldblume on Hill Street Blues and FBI Special Agent Tobias C. Fornell on NCIS), to a strange house in the countryside that seems to appear and disappear.
Shot under the title Devil’s Feast, this movie was lensed at the Soda Spring Spa, which was originally the Arroyo Del Valle Sanatorium, a treatment center for tuberculosis, which had been vacant for an entire decade before the movie was filmed.
Interestingly enough, on the Media Blasters DVD, Joe Bob Briggs claims that Tobe Hooper caught wind of the movie while he was finalizing The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and he made a special trip to California fearing that the movies were too similar. They may be story-wise, but the tone is wildly different.
This is the kind of movie where not much happens until the last few minutes, as it all feels trapped in a hazy ’70s drug world. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s also not the kind of pace that most people today are able to get into. For those that love it, this is exactly what you’re looking for. For example, this is the kind of movie that Rob Zombie has tried to make around ten times.
You can buy the Code Red release of this movie at Ronin Flix.