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Dead Dudes in the House – 6

Director – James Riffel

Cast – Mark Zobian, Victor Verhaeghe, Sarah Newhouse, Douglas Gibson, J.D. Cerna, Naomi Kooker, Eugene Sautner

Release Year – 1989

Reviewed by John of the Dead

I first learned of this cheesy slasher a few years ago thanks to Fright Master over at UHM, and when finally presented with the chance to view this independently filmed and Troma-distributed experience I could not turn it down. When Mark purchases an old decrepit house with the intent of fixing it up, he brings along seven of this friends to help him out. Soon after they arrive they discover a strange headstone and Bob, a jackass, smashes the headstone in an act of disrespect to the dead. This act awakens Annabelle, the murderous former owner of the home who is now on a quest for revenge against the eight “hip hop” teens.

No, they are not really “hip hop” teens and hip hop is never mentioned in the film, but when Troma distributed this piece they marketed it as such. They are Troma though, so they don’t need to make sense in what they do. This piece comes both written and directed by James Riffel, the man behind Night of the Day of the Dawn of the Son of the Bride of the Return of the Revenge of the Terror of the Attack of the Evil Mutant Hellbound Flesh Eating Crawling Alien Zombified Subhumanoid Living Dead, Part 5, and while this is a storyline we’ve seen many times over I still find joy in these flicks. I loved the idea of the kids residing in a home with a history they are unaware of, as well as the vengeance element provided by the undead Annabelle, and of course…the nowhere-to-run scenario when the teens find out they are unable to leave the home and flee from the killer granny. With all of these elements in place this really is a simple film that centers on the teens trying to hide within the home from the granny’s wrath, and with some good MEAN kills this story was better than I expected. It does drag at times and the premise honestly gets a little old, but if you have a knack for these flicks you may find some joy in the story like I did.

Riffel’s direction makes this flick a fun one, and he kicks things off right with great atmosphere and an awesome, creepy location. It does not take long before the old woman appears, and shortly after that she begins adorning the walls with the blood of her victims. I found her look to be a creepy and realistic one, with Riffel opting to go for a natural look instead of a decayed, undead one. One element that added to the fun and may bring on a few laughs is the fact that she is not played by an older woman at all, but by a young man mimicking an old lady’s voice. Her vocals and laughs were cliché but they worked well in this piece and her killing abilities outshine any negatives associated with her. With this being a Troma distributed film you can expect some positive gore and practical effects, and I really enjoyed the gory kills in this experience. The kills were mean, brutal, and the fact that they came from an old granny made them even more enjoyable. Cheese is heavy in this piece, but it was surprisingly nowhere near as cheesy as other films Troma has distributed.

Overall, Dead Dudes in the House is a fun slasher that fits the Troma bill. The gore is good, the effects are positive, and the kills overall are very enjoyable. The cheese reigns high, but if you know what to expect there’s a good chance you’ll find some joy in the film like I did.

Rating: 6/10

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