Maybe 20 or 30 years from now, "Spookies" will be thought of with the same affection and convoluted appreciation afforded that cult classic "Plan 9 From Outer Space." Unfortunately Eugenie Joseph, Thomas Doran and Brendan Faulkner, who collaborated on the writing and directing of this little horror, are no match for the late Ed Wood Jr., whose eccentricity was inspired. What motivates this crew is a mystery.
Joseph and Co. might like to imagine "Spookies" in the tradition of "Gremlins," "Ghoulies" and other one-word horror films, but all they've done is trotted out all the cliche's of the genre and strewn them willy-nilly through the script; spent what little budget they had on two or three gory effects and the rest on wooden doors, which slam, get stuck, hide assorted menaces or trap klutzy victims and so on; tacked on a wobbly synthesizer sound track; hired some of the worst actors and actresses available and put them before the cameras; and filmed the whole thing.
And people are going to pay to see it!
Oh, the horror.
"Spookies" takes place in a deserted mansion, into which stumble two carloads of post-teen partiers. Already there: a beautiful Material Girl being kept alive with the blood of others and the obsessed weirdo who can't take a hint, despite 70 years of not even getting to first base (which doesn't explain why his lines, in a horrid fake German accent, sound as if they were recorded in a toilet bowl). Also present: a psycho-Spiderwoman, a grim reaper and various branches of the undead. The audience favorites were recently unearthed mummies with serious flatulence problems who get turned into monster mash by a vat of rancid wine. (We're not kidding.)
There's also the obligatory "Dead Awaken in the Graveyard" scene, in which three dozen or so of the wretches chase and strip the heroine, and the equally obligatory "Just When You Thought She Was Safe and the Movie Was Over" kicker.
Into this den of non-Equity some people are bound to descend. For them, we excerpt a few lines from various stages of "Spookies": "Welcome fools ... What is it, art or something? ... I knew I shouldn't have asked ... This is ridiculous ... This is a nightmare ... What a cruel joke ... Why won't you let this end? ... Either kill me or get me the hell out of here ... Let's get out of here ... You idiot."
That last comment is just as likely to spring to the mind of anyone who sits through "Spookies."
Spookies, now playing at area theaters, is rated R and contains some inept but gory effects.