I was reading through the list of the top 250 films of all time as voted by IMDB users. The list itself proved to me once again that not only are IMDB users some of the most retarded and juvenile people in the history of the internet but are also prejudiced against movies featuring a former cast member of Cheers and Bill Maher. Of course the whole idea of these lists is just a cheap ploy to drum up traffic and conversation about how shitty the list is itself. Therefore I will not speak of this anymore and instead will try to expose you to what in my never humble opinion is the greatest piece of filmmaking that I own on VHS.
Those who already know me personally should already know that I'm speaking of Ethan Wiley's 1987 masterpiece, House II: The Second Story.
Much like The Godfather Part II and Babe: Pig in the City(aka The Godfather Part II of talking pig movies), House II takes the premise of the original and makes it better by having a clearer narrative and no constraints in regards to setting up the style of the film as the first movie had already established it's premises. In fact it's really the simplicity of House II that allows the viewer to get sucked right into the story and feeling as out of control as the characters on screen. Also as the sequel to a successful movie it can afford to take more risks.
Take for example the inclusion of a 170 year-old mummy from the old west. Traditionally mummies have been typecast into movies about Egypt and/or starring Brendan Fraser. Ideas like this only support the claim that the writer's balls were so massive at the time he came up with it that he was confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Not only is the western mummy fantastic at providing some much needed comic relief as counterpoint to the sombre, distressing tone of the rest of the movie but he also is an integral part of the plot and provides a vessel for the audience's sympathy. Truly this movie could not even exist without him and Royal Dano(RIP) turns out what should be remembered as a career defining performance which the academy so rudely snubbed.
As the first film was a scathing criticism of post-Vietnam America it's refreshing that the filmmakers in this instance decided on a more universal message of respecting the past. From the above mentioned mummy to the prehistoric puppet-bird the viewer is tricked into think more about their own place in the timeline of history as well as what their future grandchildren may have to do to fix the problems they created by not killing the other dead western guy when they had the chance. This film asks us to look forwards and backwards to assess the context of our present day actions.
Rather than give more of the movie away I invite you all to give it a shot and watch it. I was able to get my own VHS of it for $5 about ten years ago at some record store closing sale. Also most fine retailers should have it lying around somewhere. I'm actually part of a petition to have the movie released by Criterion so I can download from someone who feels like ripping it.
Just watch it already. You will be thankful.