(1989 TV movie) *
So Bad it’s Good *****
In the 4th installment of this stupid franchise a realtor, eager to clean out the famous house, holds a garage sale. During the sale (annoying) Helen spies a HIDIOUS lamp and decides to ship it to her sister on the west coast as a goof. While purchasing this monstrosity she cuts her finger on the lamp and later falls into a tetanus-induced coma.
Meanwhile, down-on-her-luck, widowed, Nancy (Patty Duke) is forced to move back home to live with her mother, Alice.
Nancy’s 3 kids join her including her teenage
daughter, pre-teen Brian, and 11-year old Jessica. Soon after the lamp arrives ( Alice loves it, by the way) strange things
start happening in the home. Alice’s parakeet is
killed in a toaster oven, a chainsaw comes to life, and an electrician’s son
loses a hand in the garbage disposal.
Oh, and Jessica starts talking to the lamp claiming that it is her
deceased father. Although never stating
it overtly, Alice
blames the kids for all of these horrors and there are several testy exchanges
between Alice and Patty Duke. Eventually
figuring out that the lamp is the source of all of the problems Nancy enlists the aid of
a priest to rid the house of evil.
This movie is so great for all the wrong reasons! Patty Duke is at her Patty Duke-iest, playing her silly role with incredible gravitas. The deaths are all ridiculous and no matter how many bad things happen in the house no one ever suggests leaving. Nice kid, Brian, is at the most awkward stage I’ve ever seen in a kid – Check it out, I took these with my iPhone,
As I work my way through the Amityville series it is abundantly clear that there is not a single good film (including the original). However, Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes is a hoot and deserves repeated viewing. I found it on YouTube.