Look, I’ve seen enough Amityville movies now that it takes a lot to surprise me. But the fact that this was directed and co-written by Tim Vigil knocked me out.
Tim Vigil may not be a huge name to you, but those that loved black and white outlaw comics know and revere his name. Starting with the comic book Grips — imagine Wolverine being allowed to murder people — and getting to beyond out there books like EO and Faust — which became the Brian Yuzna film in the 2000 movie Faust: Love of the Damned — Vigil’s incredible art made him the kind of creator worth following from book to book.
Even some of my fellow comic book mutants had no idea this movie was coming. I had to hunt down the truth — was this the Tim Vigil? And yep, right in the middle of his Instagram, which repeatedly gets shut down because Tim loves posting images that upset pretty much anyone decent, there was the art for this movie.
Much like Danzig’s Verotika, this is the movie that you’d expect Tim Vigil to make.
If you love his stuff, you’ll be excited. If you hate it, well, stay far away.
The first nice thing you can say about this film is that the Amityville House actually shows up in the movie as a cleaning crew comes to do their work at 112 Ocean Avenue. Sure, this footage is a different aspect ratio than the rest of the film and the cleaning crew scenes were directed by someone else and they try to explain why the evil gets in the woods. It’s pretty much like how Frankenstein’s Bloody Terror is a werewolf movie but has a Frankenstein title because Sam Sherman already had 400 theaters lined up for the Al Adamson film Dracula vs. Frankenstein and had promised those grindhouses and drive-ins a Frank-centric double feature.
This leads to two people in the woods making out, but when his girlfriend won’t put out, Kurt sends her to the doom of being attacked by the titular vampire, who is played by the astoundingly named Jin N. Tonic, who was also in not only Dracula in a Women’s Prison but Frankenstein in a Women’s Prison. Somewhere, probably in Hell, Bruno Mattei is pleased.
Meanwhile, radio DJ and former rock star Johnny (Anthony Dearce) and Fran (Miranda Melhado) are on the way to those very same woods. He keeps telling her stories of how it’s haunted, making this kind of an anthology, which works better than it should. Except that the place they’re going is Red Moon Lake and not Amityville, but come on, we knew that was coming.
So there’s a story about Lilith — the vampire from the opening — inviting a woman to Thanksgiving and another where a man begs Lilith to do what God can’t and save his dying wife. Why he would tell her these stories happened in the place they’re going to is beyond me, but don’t look for life lessons in Amityville ripoff movies.
Meanwhile, Kurt now has a bunch of friends that are looking for women to assault. Yes, this is a movie filled with women showing up only to show off their breasts, long conversations that go nowhere, women being punched in the face and then laughing about it, a sexual assault filmed like the Austin Powers joke gag that really is reprehensible, a seeming encouragement of suicide, horrible looking blood, a decent looking vampire, a breast signing in a parking lot that doesn’t match the tone of the rest of the movie, some of the most over the top line reads and reaction shots you’ve ever seen in a movie and all the quality you expect from a direct to streaming poorly lit, filmed and soundtracked effort by a first-time director.
In short, it’s exactly the kind of movie I look for. What a glorious mess and man, I hope Tim Vigil makes tons of movies. It’s not good, but it’s not good in the violently bad way that says to me that his films are only going to get weirder, wilder and less concerned with petty concerns like continuity, color balancing, story and realistic effects and more worried with creating the kind of boundary-pushing magic that the Satanic mass orgy scenes in Faust delivered.
I mean, Tim Vigil tried to sell a 15-year-old me an art print of it and when I told him, “Well, I still live at home with my parents because I’m in high school,” he called me a pussy and I thanked him for it.
Dear Tim Vigil,
I now have my own home.
Make more movies.
I will buy them all.
Sam (former pussy)