Eccentric millionaire Lionel Twain invites five of the most renowned and respected detectives in the world to his isolated mansion for a dinner and a murder. Greeting them is blind butler Bensonmum who only receives help from a hired deaf/mute maid who has a long list of things she doesn’t do; among them cooking. Before the night is over Twain promises that a murder will occur and the five best sleuths will be completely stumped.
Director Joe Dante is one of my favorites. He’s delivered some bona-fide classics like “The Howling”, “Gremlins” and “Innerspace”.
He’s simply an imaginative filmmaker who can play in more ways than one with the material at hand and, therefore, make them fairly unique and original.
Like many of Dante’s other films, “The ‘Burbs” pays a great deal of homage to a particular genre while also carving out a satirical standpoint that gives it it’s own identity.
A nasty demon is awakened at Hull House, an abandoned mortuary, where a group of teenagers are partying on Halloween night. The demon possesses two of them and soon bloody carnage ensues as the pair kills, and then possesses, the rest of the group.
A few years later students are preparing for a celebration where a few of them decide to visit Hull House. This new group of teens catch Angela’s attention and some more demon mayhem is unleashed.
Theatre director Alan leads his acting troupe, whom he continually refers to as his “children”, to a graveyard on a remote island to perform a necromantic ritual in order to raise the dead. At first it seems the ritual is a bust … But then the dead start to rise and the living have a survival fight on their hands.
A maniac dressed as Santa Claus is picking off the citizens of the Midwestern town Cryer he deems as naughty. Sheriff Cooper (McDowell) is understaffed so he calls in Deputy Aubrey Bradimore (King) to work on Christmas Eve. Aubrey has a host of personal issues to deal with, not least the fact that this will be her first Christmas since her husband’s passing.
As a Cult movie lover (and overall pessimist) I’ve always gravitated towards films that show the dark side of a festive period and the ones I’ve covered as the ones that I never miss during Christmas. But over the years “A Christmas Story” (1983) has become a tradition as it’s the only film I know that perfectly captures the feeling of Christmas from a child’s perspective.