Mt. Misery Road is a real place and this movie is inspired by real events. You know how that goes — many movies have bragged of the same thing. There supposedly was an insane asylum that burned down — perhaps caused by one of the women held there — and a white dress wearing ghost that wanders the woods at night. It’s also a treacherous path to take — it’s one of the highest peaks in Long Island. There is also a “gravity hill” there where your car will roll uphill (this isn’t unique, there are several in the United States; one is in Ross Township right outside of Pittsburgh, for example). If you’d like to know more about Mt. Misery Road, this New York Daily News article is pretty informative.
Speaking of movies inspired by supposedly real events, the name Amityville has been used by at least 23 films. In 1974, Ronald DeFeo Jr. shot and killed six members of his family inside the large Dutch Colonial home on 112 Ocean Avenue, which was located in the suburbs of Long Island in a town called — you guessed it — Amityville. Four years later, the Lutz family moved in and left within 28 days due to the phenomena that attacked them while they were there. It became a book, a movie and another PR opportunity for the Warrens before taking over the public consciousness. The very name Amityville leads one to think of that house with the haunted windows today.
Very few of those movies inspired by the Lutz family are worth watching, save Amityville II: The Possession, a completely unhinged Italian exploitation movie wrapped in American big studio clothes. Even the original and remake are only just OK; Amityville 3-D has its moments and then it’s a mixed bag from then on out.
Making matters worse, starting with 1990’s The Amityville Curse, the Amityville brand name has mostly meant direct to video and limited release efforts. An exception is the 2005 remake of the original, which somehow makes the somewhat boring 1979 film even more pedantic. We’ve had The Amityville Curse, Amityville: The New Generation, Amityville Dollhouse, The Amityville Asylum, Amityville Death House, The Amityville Playhouse and even Amityville Prison, not to mention a Legacy, a Terror and a film that promises No Escape. What’s next? Our dog is currently working on The Amityville Doghouse about a family of six chihuahuas who wonder why they got their dream house so cheap until a ghost cat arrives.
Now, the legend of Mt. Misery Road — no relation to Clinton Road, which also has a movie that we saw recently — and Amityville have come together in the film Amityville Mt. Misery Road.
This film is a true auteur project from the husband and wife team of Chuck and Karolina Morrongiello. Together, the couple did everything — writing, directing, producing, acting, set decoration, makeup, the music — along with one or two other names, like Elan Menkin, who helped with the edit and sound.
Within the film, Chuck and Karolina play a couple named Charlie and Buzi who are obsessed with the paranormal. The movie starts with an incredibly long sequence where Charlie drives to his house and checks his mail. It might be the longest vehicle drive to a home I’ve seen since the epic van journey of Thor in Rock ‘N Roll Nightmare. Even opening the mailbox and getting to the front door necessitates nearly ten jump cuts and we haven’t even gotten into the front door of Charlie’s palatial Florida home.
The next several moments of the film are spent watching the couple read the internet and learn about Mt. Misery Road in real time. Web page after web page — and even a slide show of monsters like demon dogs and Mothman — appear with both commenting on the proceedings before cuddling in bed and getting ready to fly to Long Island. Buzi has a prophetic nightmare that she will face off with the red eyes of the Mothman, but despite her pleas, they decide to go anyway.
This is a film made up of montages to the songs of Chuck Morrongiello. To be fair, he did play on an album with Jefferson Airplane’s Marty Balin. Finally, the pair make their way to a bar near the road and are warned off by an old man who seems like he’d rather be playing that One Touch Machine in the corner. Then, Buzi dances for around an hour or ten minutes. Time in this film works like that. And a visit to an expert on Mt. Misery Road just leads to another old man yelling at them, telling them to not go there, no matter what.
Well, Charlie and Buzi go there anyway and walk around the woods, exploring what has to be the remnants of the asylum and finding a cross just hanging off a tree. They get separated and their phones don’t work and Charlie gets attacked before the film ends with Buzi Blair Witch-style wandering the woods while swearing. Then she gets attacked before the movie ends.
I really have no idea how to review what I just watched. It’s like someone made their own movie just for themselves, but then along the way someone said, “You guys should totally sell that!” And then they did. It really does feel like a passion project between the couple and hey, they did really make a movie and get it on streaming services and into actual stores pressed on to actual DVDs. It does take some effort to make a film, even one as astoundingly bad as this one. So I can’t hate on it. Some people like to dress up their dogs. Other like to flip homes. It seems like Morrongiellos like to use their iPhones to make movies about ghosts. Whether or not you feel like encouraging them by spending $9.96 is totally up to you.
I mean, I was totally entertained and pulled Becca in to watch it with me. Whether or not I was entertained for the right reasons is up for debate.
If I had the opportunity to get a review line on the box cover, it would be edited down to say something like, “Not since Manos The Hands of Fate and Things have I been so…astounded by a film.” – B&S About Movies.
The IMDB review page for this film is pretty astounding, filled with one star and ten-star reviews and almost nothing in between, save one review that gives it 4/10 and says that it deserves more than ten stars. So there’s that.
Honestly, I can’t believe that this movie exists. I’m not sure if it even should. But if Chuck and Karolina Morrongiello decide to make a sequel, I’ll be first in line to see it.
Want to know more? Visit the official site. You can find this movie at Walmart — for actual proof, just take a look at the photo above, I’m as amazed as you are — and on demand.
DISCLAIMER: This movie was sent directly to us by Chuck Morrongiello. Quite obviously, that has had no impact on our review.