HK and Cult Film News's Fan Box

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

THE PERFECT HOUSE -- DVD review by porfle

Betraying hardly a hint of the shocking bloodbath it will eventually become, Wild Eye Releasing's THE PERFECT HOUSE (2012) starts out on a darkly humorous note with an average family having dinner with a burly, grey-haired neighbor with whom they've had an ongoing dispute over a borrowed weed-whacker.

It's a bit misleading, since we're led to think that this darkly tongue-in-cheek attitude will extend throughout the film. It does, in fact, last until about the halfway point, at which all humor suddenly disappears and the whole thing becomes a wallow in gratuitous gore, torture, and perversion in which absolutely nothing is sacred.

The opening segment ends just as the point of ultimate outrage over the errant weed-whacker is reached, but the aftermath (which we won't see until much later) is hinted at during the following story in which a real estate agent tries to unload the now-vacant house on a couple of prospective buyers who can't understand why it's going for such a steal.

If you're like me, then the MILF-a-licious Monique Parent will definitely ring your chimes as the seductive real estate agent who seems more interested in sharing a bed with house-hunters Marisol and Mike than selling them one. She, in fact, is the only interesting thing about this plotless segment which will pretty much go nowhere, especially after it's interrupted by a flashback.

A black-and-white interlude (during which we discover why Monique is hesitant to show the couple the basement) tells of a highly dysfunctional family in which the father dotes on his teenage daughter to an unhealthy degree while his son feels left out. The mother, meanwhile, is an overbearing harpy who berates them all mercilessly night and day.

When the four of them are forced to seek shelter in the basement from an oncoming tornado, the situation suddenly erupts into lots of squishy gore effects replete with dismembered body parts and an overall ambience of splatter. Not really a story per se, more of a vignette in which we wonder who's going to emerge alive from all the hacking and spewing going on in that shadowy darkness, it's kind of interesting. But again--no plot.

Suddenly, we fast-forward into another basement-based situation in which the house's next owner, a serial killing yokel played by Jonathan Tiersten ("Ricky" from SLEEPAWAY CAMP), keeps a woman captive in a chain-link cage while he forces her to be his "audience" and watch him dispatch one victim after another.

Holly Greene is actually pretty funny as the caged woman who must wearily deal with each frantic "newbie" in the adjoining cage and who keeps up with the days of the week by what is done to her ("All I know is I get fed on Wednesdays and raped on Fridays").

It's here, however, that THE PERFECT HOUSE veers into unrelenting torture porn, and, while the sequence ends in fairly satisfying fashion, it serves merely as an appetizer for the all-out bloody horror that is the utterly mortifying climax of the "weed-whacker" story.

Sick, grotesque, and "appalling" in the truest H.G. Lewis sense of the word, this is fifteen or twenty minutes that will test your tolerance for torture-tainment and perhaps cause you to question your own sanity for sitting through it. The closest it comes to having a story can be summarized with the line "A bunch of insanely horrible stuff happens, the end."

As the mother of the luckless family who meet their frightful fate in the basement of horror, co-producer Felissa Rose probably does more screaming here than in all her other movies combined. And for good reason, too. (It's too bad she doesn't share any screen time with SLEEPAWAY CAMP co-star Jonathan Tiersten.) Her husband Jeff--who should've returned that damn weed-whacker--is played by John Philbin of TOMBSTONE and RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD.

I reviewed a barebones screener for this movie and thus cannot comment on extras. The press release states: "The DVD release of The Perfect House (SRP $14.95) will exclusively include over two hours of bonus features: behind the scenes featurettes, cast interviews, footage from the national theatrical tour, special effects featurettes, Q&A footage and an alternate ending."

The level of gruesome carnage found in THE PERFECT HOUSE will be old hat to some (namely, those who have been "desensitized", as they say, to such horrors) and it may indeed suffice for the lack of a plotline. Others, however, are advised to either exercise extreme caution or just skip the whole thing altogether.

Buy it at


No comments: