Apparently, the 1986 movie Spookies is the final, badly edited cut of a much better movie called Twisted Souls. When this sloppy mess came to VHS in the 80s, I watched it once then completely forgot it. But if you don’t care about plot or logic (I care less and less these days—just give me spooky stuff!), it’s a really fun haunted house movie.
There’s a huge house in the middle of a cemetery. There’s some dude smoking in the woods who gets killed by some sort of demon child. A young kid comes out of nowhere, goes into the house, and finds a birthday party set up for him, complete with a creepy robot toy, a freaky doll, and a cake with self-lighting candles. Then we have this unlikely group of travelers who seem to be from two different worlds: cool and uncool. One dude even wears a leather outfit covered in zippers that was probably stolen from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video and spray-painted black (he’s from the cool world).
Meanwhile, there’s this ghoulish dude in an underground location with his beautiful bride in a coffin. He needs sacrifices to keep his bride alive. He seems to be able to see everything that goes on in the house, calls all the shots, and sends out ghouls to attack the unsuspecting travelers who thought wandering into a house in the middle of a cemetery was a good idea.
I would like to compare Spookies to Night of the Demons. At first, it seems like it’s about a bunch of people trapped in a house who summon demons that then begin to possess them and cause them to attack each other. But that concept dies fast. Instead, every victim is treated to his or her own personal monster.
There are little monsters that I actually thought were the “Spookies” when the movie first came out and that it was going to be a knockoff of mini-monster movies like Critters and Ghoulies. But no. We also get a much bigger, slimy ghoul, these mummy things that make farting sounds (WTF?), a demon lady who turns into a giant Alien-esque spider, a hag monster, and a grim reaper. It begins to look like the costume section of Party City.
Just when you think Spookies is about the fate of these trapped people, their storyline is completely dropped and we’re expected to sympathize with the bride who has been sleeping in the coffin the whole time. SHE is the final girl! WTF? She escapes and is attacked by endless hordes of zombies that rise from the graves (and yank off most of her clothes in the process). Zombie chase scene overkill ensues and the bitch won’t stop screaming. And then the end is just—I don’t know. Really. I don’t.
As crappy as Spookies is, it is an absolutely awesome nonstop, nonsensical thrill ride of dark lighting, eerie 80s music, and endless monsters. Fun, fun, fun.