1986, 58 min. / Directed by Domonic Paris / Video Treasures / NTSC VHS EP Speed / 1.33:1 / Mono
Tony (Steve Buscemi) and Vinnie (Mark Boone Jr.) are two lonely video junkies who spend their days and nights in front of a big bank of televisions just like David Bowie in Man Who Fell to Earth except, well, they're video junkies. Tony comes to his senses when he realize's there's a gigantic movie marathon about to start at the local Bijou. A pefect chance to get out and see the sights! Cue some strange undercranked footage of the two lunatics speeding toward their cinematic destination. They've got "Film House Fever," and if your either desperate or strange enough to track down this tape then you've probably contracted it as well.
After some goofy shtrick, the duo settle into their seats for a barrage of b-movie trailers and film clips. The program opens with an outrageous nudity-filled trailer for James Hurly's The Psychic and goes on to include a great deal of H.G. Lewis / David Friedman material (Two Thousand Maniacs, Blood Feast, Just for the Hell of It and many others), a ton of Independent International / Al Adamson stuff (lots from his early western and monster movie periods, a shot of Nurse Sherri and even some Black Heat) along with a few classic movie intermission breaks and concessions stand promos thrown in for good measure. They've also incorporated some excerpts from classic short films and even managed to stick in the majority of Cleveland Smith - Bounty Hunter, a short black and white Indiana Jones parody created by Josh Becker and Bruce Campbell and starring Campbell himself as the intrepid Cleveland!
At the close of this spectacular (trailer / short film / movie clip) event, these two unsuspecting theater patrons encounter a Carnival of Souls induced finale which warns us all of the dangers of unrestrained moviegoing...the price may be higher than one can ever imagine!
The only interest this video holds for most people is a glimpse of a young Buscemi (his talent and unique presense are apparent even here) but the abundance of wacky b-movie trailers from years past will probably be enough to hold the interest of most film fans. Admirers of the "Terror in the Aisles" style of clip compilation will probably find this orgy of exploitation to be enjoyabler; it's also enhanced by some interesting and thoughtful editing which makes the give the final product a distinctively odd Night Flight vibe to it. It falls short of having mass replay value but it's still miles ahead of the cut-and-paste style and dreary intro segments found on similar compliation video such as Terror on Tape or the Zacherley fiasco Horrible Horror. Video Treasure's EP VHS release from the golden days of cheapo home video is strictly no-frills but nonetheless exhibits a fairly clean picture with only passing hints of video noise or distortion. The sound fairs a bit worse but still remains intelligeble given the slow-speed circumstances under which the taped was recorded. Film House Fever may not be something to run out and scrounge for but the combination of Boone and Buscemi along with an unusual fixation on the classic 60's/70's exploitation lacking on most of the simliar videos might interest those willing to take the risk of being bored.
©2003 John Hand. All rights Reserved.