One thing you can’t call Brain Damage Films is inconsistent. Pretty much releasing anything that includes an unhealthy overdose of blood soaked T and A, they guarantee the most facile of cinematic experiences. Hell House: The Book of Samiel is yet another baffling iniquity from the production company that bought you such frat boy classics as Bachelor Party, Curse of the Wolf and Fist of the Vampire.
When Hell House… landed on my desk in an unpresuming, transparent slipcase, I was less than thrilled.
Having already sat through the mental torture that was Fist of the Vampire I was somewhat averse to the prospect of watching another offering from Brain Damage Films. In fact, I was so uninterested and unwilling to lose another hour and a half of my life to this proverbial skull f**k of a film that I found myself drifting in and out of concentration, instead opting to partake in the most remedial, bizarre and banal of activities…
Here’s 25 things I found more enticing than paying attention to Hell House: The Book of Samiel…
1.) Looking up the correct spelling of Samiel (see wiki).
2.) Licking the roof of my mouth until it tickled uncontrollably, then seeing how long I could endure before licking it again. Have you ever done that?
3.) Eating bread…stale, unbuttered, brown bread.
4.) Drawing this:
5.) Pretending to be a majestic, woodland fawn.
6.) Contracting septicaemia.
7.) Performing rudimentary shadow puppet theatre.
8.) Reading the S.C.U.M. Manifesto…twice.
9.) Drinking copious amounts of Irish coffee.
10.) Trying, and failing, to construct a Camberwell Carrot.
11.) Singing the theme tune to an imaginary sitcom in which Nick Cave, Tom Waits and the ghost of William S Burroughs open a crooked burlesque house in the middle of the Nevada desert.
12.) Doodling on my newspaper. Nick Griffin looks far less evil with penises for eyes.
13.) Admiring the twisted genius of this young scallywag:
14.) Seeing if the movie could be improved by watching it upside down. As it turns out, the answer is ‘yes’, largely due to the hallucinogenic effect of having your internal organs enact a slow exodus towards your head and out of your mouth.
15.) Taking six toilet breaks (see 9).
16.) Falling asleep on the toilet (see 15)
17.) Staring at my closet, hoping desperately that the Time Bandits will crash through, Gilliam and all.
18.) Sobbing uncontrollably
19.) …The movie is watching me, it cannot be trusted.
25.) Phew, it was all a dream. I had this crazy nightmare in which I was forced to watch a terrible film about…oh for f**k sake! It’s real! It’s real and it’s still going!!!…things go dark…no one can hear me screaming…in the night…in the dark…the credits roll…madness takes my soul:
Granted, this may have been a slightly immature and unprofessional way to review a film, but honestly, what can you expect? I can only critically analyse that which warrants critical analysis.
Without irony or remorse I can honestly say that Hell House… warrants neither critical analysis nor juvenile insults, two things I have an unconscious tendency to combine.
Anyone who has seen a Brain Damage film knows what to expect and, consequently, what the problems will be. Anyone who hasn’t should count themselves lucky and steer well clear of this preposterous, black hole of entertainment.