Boarding House (1982) poster

Boarding House (1982)


aka Housegeist

USA. 1982.


Director/Special Effects/Makeup Effects – Johnn Wintergate, Screenplay – Jonema, Producer – Peter Baahlu, Photography – John Lucas & Obee Ray, Music – Jonema, Kalassu & 33⅓. Production Company – Blustarr.


Hawk Adley [Johnn Wintergate] (Jim Royce/Gardner), Kalassu (Victoria Spelling), Mary McKinley (Cindy Carlton), Alexandra Day (Deborah Hoffman), Joel Riordan (Joe Weintraub)


Parapsychologist Professor Don Hoffman and his wife are killed by a psychokinetic outbreak during a party at their house. The house is inherited by Jim Royce. Heplaces an ad to get various beautiful girls to move in in return for cheap rent. The girls freely party and sleep with Jim. Jim is also a practitioner of Eastern mind techniques and is learning how to levitate objects. However, a mysterious force in the house then starts attacking and killing the girls via a series of psychokinetic outbreaks.

Boarding House is really a quite terrible film. It is made with a staggering ineptitude on almost every level. The novelty Boarding House had at the time it came out was in being the first film ever shot on videotape.

The plot seems to be written as some kind of sexual fantasy designed to bring together as many nubile women as possible and have them disrobe at frequent intervals throughout. All of the acting is bad, although at least the two leads – director Johnn Wintergate who plays under the name Hawk Adley, and Kalassu – give performances that almost reach the acceptably routine. That said, Wintergate/Adley’s double performance as a weird psychotic Vietnam veteran gardener who is always lunging into frame toward one of the women with a chainsaw or pair of garden shears is without any doubt one of the most laughable psychos ever portrayed on screen.

The film is filled with incredibly bad effects – the flight through the graveyard is appallingly shabby and one sequence where an icepick is supposedly psychically lifted against a victim is so badly shot as to be truly mind-boggling in the sheer lack of any magic evoked at all. The climax features a supposed psychic battle that consists of two people straining at one another separated by three feet of distance. The demon that eventually emerges is an actress with a bad hair dye who conveys evil by rolling her eyes.

The film claims to be shot in Horrorscope but this is a fancy way of saying it has been shot on video and blown up to an eye-straining 35mm cinematic print. Wintergate even attempts to set up a William Castle-styled warning alarm effect. The score is competent enough, although has almost entirely been swiped from John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978).

Trailer here

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