A horror movie filmed entirely in Kalamazoo, Michigan including the Henderson Castle, WMU, Kalamazoo College and the Kalamazoo State Theatre, Housesitter sat on the shelf for more than thirty years before finally being finished, thanks to sound engineering from Skywalker Sound and final picture from Paramount Picture’s color department.
Andy (Richard Gasparian, who co-directed this and went on to work in animation) is an idealist medical student with an Elvis obsession. He’s obsessed with changing the face of modern science with his rat-to-brain transfer, which takes him to the Reinhardt Institute. Meanwhile, his professor and mentor Doc Crosby has a black and white lab that he’s been using to create something even more astounding than Andy’s goals — brain pyramid from 13 unwilling donors so that he can fix his severely damaged brain.
Directed by Robin Nuyen, who played a thief in Wes Craven’s Deadly Friend, this 1950’s by way of the 1980’s hybrid that has an Elvis fan — who has a doll of the King that speaks directly to him — as the only person that can save us from science.
I wanted to love this movie, as it feels like it should be a perfect fit for everything that I love. And it also has a slasher kill where someone gets drowned in the toilet. But it never finds the right balance between horror and goofiness, which is a tough line to tightrope walk. You may find yourself enjoying it way more than me, however.
Housesitter is available on demand and on blu ray from Leomark Studios