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Amityville 2: The Possession (1982)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Damiano Damiani

Starring:
James Olson/Father Adamsky
Burt Young/Anthony
Jack Magner/Sonny
Diane Franklin/Patricia
7 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
This Amityville Horror sequel/prequel (loosely based on the DeFeo murders that took place before The Lutz’s stay) has an Italian American family moving in the doomed Long Island house with the evil “window eyes”. But before the ink has dried on their lease, faucets leak blood, furniture goes flying and the eldest son (Magner) gets possessed. The latter goes on to do a lot of "out of school" things in the name of spitting on God. OUCH! Where’s the aluminum baseball bat? Somebody needs a heavy spanking!
THE LOWDOWN

"The night of February 5, 1976, George and Kathleen Lutz fled their home in Amityville, New York. They got out alive! Their living nightmare shocked audiences around the world in "The Amityville Horror." But before them, another family lived in this house and were caught by the original evil. They weren't so lucky... this is their story!"

Two days ago, I was taken aback to find the Amityville Horror Collection haunting my mailbox. The DVD Box Set sports Part 1-2-3 of the never-ending franchise and a BONUS DISK (see breakdown below for more details). In light of this glorious release, I decided to review Part 2, my personal fav of all the Amityville jamborees. You can read my review of Part 1 here and expect a review for Part 3 to possess the site one day. When again? ONE DAY!

Now, for all the “is it real or isn’t it” hoopla surrounding The Lutz’ twenty eight day stay at the humble Amityville abode; one thing is 100% certain; a year before the Lutz’ did their "Run Lola Run"  thing, Ron DeFeo Junior killed his entire family with a shotgun. Although Hans Holzer's book named “Murder in Amityville” (which addressed the DeFeo murders) is listed as a “source” in this sequel/prequel’s credits; basic premise aside (kid offs family with big phallic canon), the bulk of this tale was purely fictional. So lets dissect this movie for what it is; a freaking movie! No "true story" tag to deal with on this mofo!

For those of you who thought that the pacing of the original The Amityville Horror was a tad too turtle like (I wasn’t one of them, I dug its slow build-up), you’ll be in a tizzy to hear that this polished up sequel/prequel didn’t f*ck around when it came to getting its ghastly happenings zooming off its launching pad. Shite, the first spooky incident went down like 5 seconds after the family moved into the pad! Now that's what I call not wasting time in getting the haunting ball rolling! To make matters much, much, better, that initial spirit mishap acted as a “starter pistol” for an insane roller coaster of macabre lunacy to kick in hardcore throughout the film's first hour. Is it me or screenwriter Tommy Lee Wallace (with his first produced screenplay) must have been in a warped mood when he wrote this little bastard? Was he bitter about life or/and the world we live in at the time? Whatever the case…GRACIAS for the nasty treats man! Much appreciated!

This celluloid bully shamelessly shoveled its schlop in our faces with zero fear of offending and with the words “good” & “taste” no where in sight. I’m talking a slew of poltergeist activity busting pork chops (you name it, it happens), a highly compelling possession subplot driving the narrative (it reminded me of the one in Nightmare on Elm Street 2), one perverted incest scenario that had me cheering (its always rewarding to watch a film that’s not afraid to burn the envelope), some old fashioned wife/child beatings (a man’s got to cut that edge) and an unsettling massacre bit that topped it all off with gusto. Kids got mowed down in here man! OUCH! Thankfully, the impact of the madness at hand was backed up by decent acting from most, resulting in the sickening events crashing skulls full force. What a hard hitter! I BOUGHT IT! Needless to say (but I’ll say it anyways) that I was having a freaking pajama party with this twisted sister! Every time I thought “okay this is as far as they’ll go”, they’d go further to teach me lessons in horror manners. I RESPECTED THAT! So what was the problem then?

Well it started with me not buying that the family wouldn't leave the house. What does it take to get these mooks out of there? A freaking tornado? SHEESH! I had to let that go though, in the name of enjoying the ride. The more severe snag on display was the lackluster last block. Not only was the whole load already blown at the hour mark, making the final half hour feel “tacked on” in the process, but it also pitifully ripped off The Exorcist while cranking up the bad dialogue and silly situations to "SUCKS". They should’ve nixed that awkward finale and padded up the opening instead (have more build-up before the supernatural kicked in)…but that’s just me yapping. The "Mickey Mouse" conclusion revealed huge gaps in the film’s internal logic as well. You see, by giving us an explanation as to why the house is haunted (You bet it’s built on top of an old Indian burial ground…Poltergeist anyone?); it raised more questions, jacked up "suspension of disbelief" and revealed mucho plot holes. In a cock shell, the last act took a long piss on what was thus far a gnarly effort... and they didn't even bother to flush afterwards. HOW RUDE!

But when all was slaughtered and one’s sister banged by her slimy brother; Amityville 2 The Possession wound up being an exception for me. Usually a lousy cap-off will ruin a good film. Here, I managed to digest the well shot, yet crapola conclusion to boogie to the movie as a whole. Who knew? In my book of severed head doodles, this bitter genre anarchist has been criminally underrated for too damn long! I say, load up that shotgun and go DeFeo on this sequel/prequel ! You might like what you murder!

GORE
Not much of it but at least the kills were harsh in their brutality (they involved kids). We get some bloody shot gun blows, random blood here and there and a Post Exorcism decomposing head.
ACTING
James Olson (Father Adamsky) was solid throughout but even his obvious talent couldn’t save him from looking dumb when tackling some of the cheesy lines. Burt Young (Anthony) was Uncle Paulie (from the Rocky movies) but with less booze in him and more weight behind his punches. GREAT SHOW! Jack Magner (Sonny) hit all the notes he had to reach like a champ. Good stuff where if he blew the movie would've lost most of its strengh. Diane Franklin (Patricia) was mucho credible and sympathetic as the good hearted sister. Rutanya Alda (Dolores) did what she had to do; many have been hard on her performance (she was nominated for a Razzie with this film) and I don’t get it; she did fine by me!
T & A
Diane Franklin (Patricia) showed us her two “Franklins” while the ladies get Jack Magner doing the shirtless doo.
DIRECTING
This was Damiano Damiani’s (great name…Damien…get it?) first and last English speaking flick. I was truly impressed by his showcase which offered up a visually dynamic, gloomy and engaging affair. It also helped that the he had Sam O'Steen (editor of Rosemary’s Baby, Frantic and Wolf) behind the scissors; the man’s tight cutting made it happen too!
SOUNDTRACK
Lalo Schifrin returns (he did the score for the original) and hits pay-dirt again with his evocative and chilling score.
DVD FEATURES

Distributor: MGM
Release date: April 5th 2005

IMAGE: We get the choice between Full Screen (16:9) and Anamorphic Widescreen (1.33:1). I always go the Widescreen way baby!

AUDIO: Pick your poison! English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)

DISK1 – The Amityville Horror

Audio Commentary by Dr. Hans Holzer, Ph.D. in Parapsychology: This feature length commentary didn’t give me much more info that I had already picked up via the many extras within this box set. But if you’re in the mood for a play by play as to what “supposedly” went down, to hear the good Doctor's often gnarly take on the whole thing (he loves that angry Indian Chief theory) and to take in his blunt insight as to what was BS within the film...hit this road Jack!

For God's Sake, Get Out! – Documentary (20 minutes): Great man James Brolin and Margot Kidder come in to talk about how they got their roles, their relationship together on set (they didn't gel), the phony "on set happenings" that the Studio dished out in the name of marketing and the experience that was making the film. I really got a lot out of this feature and it was a hoot to hear the Brolin Machine talk Amityville shop!

We also get some Radio Spots (7 of them) and the Original Theatrical Trailer

DISK2 – The Amityville Horror Part 2: The Possession

The Original Theatrical Trailer was the only treat found on this disk.

DISK3 – The Amityville Horror Part 3D

Again; all we got here was the Original Theatrical Trailer. Where was my 3D transfer and glasses? COME ON!

DISK 4 – Amityville Confidential

This disk rocked!

Amityville: Horror or hoax (42 minutes): This compelling “History Channel” documentary explored both sides of the coin in terms of the Lutz’s story through various accounts/interviews with the real people who were involved in the affair (yes the real Lutz couple included). This feature had me come up to my own conclusion as to the validity of the "tale"...Arrow's Verdict? HOAX!

On Location: The Amityville Horror 2005 (5 minutes): This slick featurette took us on set of the new Amityville Horror film (to be released on April 15 2005). There we get interviews (Ryan Reynolds is the man!), get to witness on set filming and some groovy clips off teh film (loved the bathtub bit).

Amityville: The Haunting (42 minutes): This mucho interesting “History Channel” documentary explores the house's history. From the its roots, the DeFeo family ordeal to the Lutz’s "ghost or sham" experience. I have just graduated from Amityville 101! Next step! Hop in the car and go see the real house!

Color my walls blood red with happiness! This Box Set quenched the Amityville junkie in me and got me jazzed for the impending remake! The audio/visual were top notch, the extras oozed of gnarly substance, we get a Free Pass to go see the remake on the big screen and the film's themselves were the 3 best of the now beaten to a pulp franchise (Are Part 4 and up even worth talking about?). I can't wait to watch Part 3 again (stupid cheese)! BUY THIS HOUSE NOW!

BOTTOM LINE
It’s funny (well to me anyways) where I have read negative reviews for this film panning it for being “sick”, “disturbing” and “disgusting”. Yo! It’s a horror film! I sure hope it’s sick, disturbing and disgusting! THE MORE THE MERRIER! Amityville 2 had its Monopoly game on for its first tight hour with potent scares, strong acting, shocking bits and chilling mood galore. Too bad the last block was a trite and idiotic Exorcist copycat that felt like it belonged in another movie. Usually a piss-poor conclusion sours a good flick for me. but here; the first zany hour gave me enough oomph and quality for me to still highly recommend this genre delinquent. See it with your mom, dad….and your sister…HEY HO!
BULL'S EYE
Look out for Andrew Prine (of V fame) in a small role as Father Tom

Ronald DeFeo Jr. is to this day still in prison. Good. Rot in there bitch…ROT!

King Shit producer Dino De Laurentis produced this bad boy!
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7:10AM on 04/20/2013

Better than the original.

Borrowed this on an old VHS tape when I was 12 and after watching it, I hide the cassette behind the tv as the movie gave me the creeps.
The theme of incest throughout the film topped it off, making it feel dirty.
Not many horror movies these days can make you feel creeped out after watching them.
Borrowed this on an old VHS tape when I was 12 and after watching it, I hide the cassette behind the tv as the movie gave me the creeps.
The theme of incest throughout the film topped it off, making it feel dirty.
Not many horror movies these days can make you feel creeped out after watching them.
Your Reply:



1:17AM on 08/20/2005

Suprisingly interesting

I was impressed with the special effects and the intesity of the film. I put the film in knowing that the Amityville sequals had a less than friendly reputation amongst fans. It shook my expectations. And I love seeing Uncle Paulie! Burt Young always makes the party fun.
I was impressed with the special effects and the intesity of the film. I put the film in knowing that the Amityville sequals had a less than friendly reputation amongst fans. It shook my expectations. And I love seeing Uncle Paulie! Burt Young always makes the party fun.
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