HOME SWEET HOME- pre-cert UK Media video cover
4 stars   Cheese Rating: 100% King Cheese!

"Be It Ever So Humble,
There's No Place To HIDE"

directed by: Netie Pena
starring: Jake Steinfield, Vinessa Shaw, Peter De Paula, Don Edmunds, Charles Hoyes, David Mielke, Leia Naron, Lisa Rodriguez, Colette Trygg, Sallee Young

(back of video blurb):

       "Thanksgiving Day, family and friends gather for a traditional feast. All have their minds on good food and good times.

       Someone else has arrived - a maniac killer. He stalks his prey, silently butchering each member of the ill fated dinner."

choice dialogue:

"I'll be back in 15 minutes..."
"That's what they all said!"

- One of the dinner guests stars to get suspicious!

slash with panache?

       Holy Mary Mother of God, what a movie! What a bad, bad (nay, thrice) bad movie... I'm still shaking- not from fear, but from a mixture of uncontrollable laughter and a jaw that aches from all that hitting the floor.

       Now, first things first- I had been warned. I can't remember where, but somehow I had found out this was the very worst, the absolute nadir of early 80's slasher cinema (not that I'm convinced after seeing the thing you understand- nobody, but nobody can persuade me that there is a film worse than NEW YEAR'S EVIL; or perhaps DON'T GO INTO THE WOODS... ALONE!; or.. well, you get the idea...) I'm babbling, but hey, I've got good cause- you don't sit through a baby like this and come through unscathed. The giggling psycho makes a mess of this poor man's picnic

       I'm slowly getting my strength back... and, if you'll bare with me, I'll try and recount the last 85 minutes of my life- 85 minutes that are now...sob... lost to me forever. OK, here goes... Picture the scene: some guy decides to stop his station wagon by a Los Angeles freeway (a more picturesque picnic spot I can't imagine); and happily sits there, listening to the radio, munching a sandwich and chugging on a brew. Someone approaches him- the guy turns and says good-naturedly to the stranger, "Hey, do ya wanna beer?". His friendliness is rewarded with death. He is dragged through the open window of his car by an unholy apparition. Now, I've seen some movie psychos in my time but this... Blimey! The unfortunate man is strangled by a giggling (yes, you read that right), barrel chested nutter in a tight t-shirt, who looks like a demented hamster on steroids when the light catches him just so... Anyway, with our good Samaritan lying face down in a pool of beer and dirt, the hulking loon slips himself into the driving seat. With unnatural timing, the A needle in the tongue- oouch!following comes on the radio- "An armed and dangerous escaped mental patient- 26 year old Jay Jones, has escaped from the Hobart State Hospital for the criminally insane" (that old chestnut!). Putting two and two together it isn't difficult to guess that our gorilla in jeans and the escaped patient are one in the same. Jay (oooh, that name sends shivers of fear down my spine- only kidding!), it turns out was put away for bludgeoning his parents to death; and has already killed a hospital orderly that very afternoon during his escape. He sits there in the front seat frothing at the mouth (yes, literally), before (get this) injecting his tongue (in close up) with PCP!... Now, fully whacked out, Jay grabs the gear stick- showing off his hand tattoo with the words "HOME SWEET HOME" (although it looked suspiciously like something you'd get stamped on the back of your hand at a festival, rather than a bone fide ink job); and off he goes, tearing away down the freeway- the wind in his permed mullet. Next he runs down a poor old lady- pay particular attention to his gurning face!

       Now, it isn't long before he claims his first victim- and this I'll never forget as long as I live. Whilst waiting at some traffic lights Jay spies an old lady crossing the road (patently a stunt woman in a grey wig!). She drops her shopping. Jay slams on the accelerator and, whilst giggling maniacally (if such a thing were possible), he slams into her- sending her over the windscreen and over the top of the car. She leaves a dirty great bloody skid-mark on the front of the car- the sight I'll take to my grave is Jay gurning insanely through a blood splattered windscreen...

       Jay hightails it into the country and ambles across a rambling, isolated country house. The house in question is bustling with nine people- the kind you'd like to see die horribly- half of them look like (and act like) they're refugees from Just a few of the dinner guests- and people wonder why psychos go bad?!bad 70's porno movies (I can take one moustache in a film, but two?). There's also a screeching senoretta called Maria, "She is so Latin- I don't believe it!" coos one of the big haired (ex-porno star) ladies; a really irritating teenager who has his face painted in quasi KISS style and takes to jumping out of the shadows and playing a portable electric rawk guitar to everyone's irritation; an ickle girl called Angel who tells any nearby adult that "I love woo"; and a really easy to identify final girl who starts off responding to the unfurling horror with all the emoting you'd normally associate with braking a nail. They are all assembled to celebrate Thanksgiving Day (see, the early 80's had nearly all the bases covered when it came to holiday horror; although, if I were involved this type of picture I would have steered clear of a holiday involving a lot of turkey)... Before Jay makes a giggling entrance we are treated to an American take on Benny Hill, as the assorted members chase the guitar wielding teen around the courtyard, through the kitchen and into the bedroom- where, sure enough a pair of breasts come popping up. More guests join the chase round and around the ornamental fountain, "I'm going to wrap that guitar round your head until you're..dead!" screams one; "Bury him deep!" yells another. It doesn't end in bloodshed yet (unfortunately)...

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