In 1985, I had just turned 14-years-old. Me and a school buddy would spend a lot of time going to the theater on weekends. This one weekend, we wanted to go see the horror movie “House,” but we were underage. My buddy and I would pull the ole switcharoo where we would pay for a PG-rated movie but sneak into the R-rated movie.
“House” was more fantasy than horror as William Katt played Roger Cobb, a famous horror novelist, who was a Vietnam vet suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome. He was also dealing with the death of his young son and the divorce from his wife Sandy Sinclair (Kay Lenz).
When Roger’s aunt passes away, he inherits her house, since his aunt raised him after his parents died (yeah, this guy has had a miserable life). He goes to the Victorian home for some isolation and work on his new book about Vietnam. His intention of keeping to himself comes to a crashing halt when Roger meets his sexy neighbor Tanya (Mary Stavin), his nosey neighbor Harold Gorton (George Wendt), and noticed some seriously weird shit id going on in the house.
Roger discovers the house is in fact haunted and the ghosts come out to haunt him. But the ghosts look more like deranged Muppets. Roger finds portals in the home and fights the evil spirits as he finds out what and who is really behind all his struggles.
“House” was a big money maker at the box office, so of course, a sequel was right around the corner.
Two years after the success of the original “House,” writer/director Ethan Wiley came back with “House II: Second Story” with a whole new house and cast.
Where the first “House” centered around the theme of Vietnam, “House II” was based around a treasure hunter (both themes were wildly popular in the decade).
Jesse (Arye Gross) inherits a family mansion in which his parents were murdered 25 years prior. He moves in with his record executive girlfriend Kate (Lar Park-Lincoln). Things start to go awry quickly when Jesse’s immature party buddy Charlie (Jonathan Stark) and his girlfriend Lana (Amy Yasbeck) unexpectedly show up.
As Jesse searches the house he finds his great-great-grandfather was a treasure hunter who found a magical crystal skull. Jesse and Charlie become infatuated with the stories and dig up the old treasure hunter to find the crystal skill in Gramps coffin. Much to their surprise, Gramps is alive and mummified. The crystal skull gives Gramps life and it also opens portals to other universe’s, where the skull has been stolen over the centuries.
Throughout the film, Jesse and Charlie battle pterodactyls, a caterpuppy, a zombie cowboy (who killed Jesse’s parents) and the sleazy record executive (Bill Maher), who is trying to steal Jesse’s girlfriend away from him. Aided brilliantly by electrician/adventurer (John Ratzenberger), the fearless heroes do all they can to save the house and Gramps from disaster while trying to save themselves.