The Nesting (1981)

Also known as Phobia and Massacre Mansion, this movie fits into a genre that I really need to make a Letterboxd list for: films where a woman either inherits an old home or goes home, only for supernatural forces to ruin everything.

A section 3 video nastyThe Nesting does not skimp on the mayhem despite an early slow pace. New York City novelist Lauren Cochran (Robin Groves, Silver Bullet) decides to cure her agoraphobia — a fear of places and situations that might cause panic, helplessness or embarrassment — by temporarily moving in to the Victorian mansion domicile of Daniel Griffith (Michael Lally, who is known more for his poetry than his acting) and his grandfather, Colonel Lebrun (John Carradine!).

This movie reminds me of Superstition and I mean that in the best of ways. When the supernatural decides to kill someone in both of these movies, it does not mess around. It dispatches people in the most extreme ways, such as ghostly hands pulling someone into a lake or a scythe right to the brain.

Even better, there are numerous dream sequences and reveals of the past of the house, which was once a brothel. That’s where Gloria Grahame* shows up in her last role as the madame of the home and the last survivor of a series of murders.

Daria Price also wrote Dawn of the Mummy, which is another underrated 80’s gorefest. This was directed by Armand Weston, who worked in adult, writing movies like the Serena-starring N.Y. Babes and directing the film Personals, which has hardcore re-enactments of interviews of real people who ran personals ads.

*I absolutely love that the credits say “with the grateful participation of Gloria Grahame.”

You can watch this on Tubi.

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