House of the Long Shadows
1982, Cannon Films
What a blessed time we live in. Back when I was first heavily getting into horror movies when I was a teenager in the late 1990s, I discovered the existence of this movie by browsing horror websites. Knowing that Price, Lee, Cushing and Carradine were all horror movie legends, I REALLY wanted to see this movie. Unfortunately, it was out of print on VHS (and extremely expensive to buy) and wasn’t on DVD. I gave up on my dream of ever watching this movie.
Well, here we are some 15-plus years later and not only this movie available on DVD, not only is it available on Blu-ray, but it’s also available for free streaming on Amazon.com if you’re a Prime member. So, stream it I did. It’s so funny how that so many movies that were once out of print and crazy expensive are now readily available and DVD, Blu-ray and digital. How cool is that?
As for this movie, well… I don’t know how cleaned up the DVD & Blu-ray versions are, but what’s streaming on Amazon looks like someone’s old VHS copy. I can’t tell if the movie is so dark because it’s a bad copy of the film or because the film itself had bad lighting. I have a feel that both are the cause, but seriously, there is some really poor lighting going on in this movie. I get that they’re in this creepy old dark house, but it doesn’t make for an interesting movie when most of it is spent so dark.
It doesn’t help that there’s not a lot of action going on either. Yes, there’s a mystery and some comic-relief thrown in, but it’s not enough to grab you. Considering who all was involved, this script does not do their talents justice. Okay, I’ll admit this type of movie is just fine for Desi Arnaz, Jr., who seems to have a Steven Guttenberg-quality.
Overall, it’s pretty fun seeing these guys interact together (especially Price & Lee), the script and plot doesn’t do them service and the ending makes the whole movie feel like a ripoff.
Still, it would be hard for any old school horror buff to turn down a movie featuring these actors. You almost HAVE to watch it if you’re a fan of classic horror, but it’s almost just as certain that anyone who does is going to be disappointed.