Boardinghouse (1982)

The first horror film in history to be shot on video, Boardinghouse is…well…there really isn’t anything else like Boardinghouse. Somehow, this movie seems at once ten minutes and ten hours long, taking you on a journey into — man, I have no idea how we got here ot where we’ve been, but we really went somewhere.

Back in 1972, Dr. Hoffman and his wife — who one assumes were doctors of the occult — died in their Mulholland Drive home on the night of their anniversary, committing double suicide in front of their daughter Debbie, who had a nervous breakdown. Everyone who has lived in the house since has died. And now, a decade later, the nephew of the last owner of the home, James Royce, puts out an ad looking for single women — beautiful women with no ties — to move in with him — he plans on you know, studying the occult while they’re there — so Sandy, Suzie, Cindy, Gloria, Pam, Terri and — you know it — Debbie all move in.

To say this movie has a disjointed narrative is like saying that you’re reading this on a web site.

James is also trying to get with Victoria, a singer, and shows her how she can use her own latent telekinetic powers. After a dream in which she is dragged to the grave of Dr. Hoffman, she begins to grow jealous the women of the boardinghouse who are all potenitally sleeping with the occult master that she has come to love.

Oh man, before you know it, people are throwing cake at one another, women are clawing their eyes out, Debbie revealing herself as the psychic monster who killed both her parents after sleeping with her father, Jim shows up with less clothes in every scene and the end credits look like they came from a Apple 2E.

Directed by, written and starring John Wintergate, this is the kind of movie that defies description, despite me writing so many words about it already. It has a lead actress with one name — Kalassu. And she’s the wife of Wintergate and their children show up. And then there are monsters, hallucinations and bloody showers. And the cut I watched has a running time of 2 hours and 38 minutes.

This movie was also shot in Horror-Vision, which is a swirl of color and a glove and it’s supposed to warn you when something scary happens but nothing like that seems to happen and man, they blew this up on film and played it in theaters and Wintergate must have quite the thong collection.

You know how I know life is good? Because AGFA + Bleeding Skull! are releasing the 35mm theatrical cut to home video for the first time later this year, along with an alternate cut named Psycho Killer and a family film from the filmmakers, Sally & Jess. I’m ordering that right now. If you come to my house this year, you will be subjected to this movie.

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