House 3 : The Horror Show title

AKA The Horror Show, House 3.

Tag Line : First they killed him, then he really got mad.

House 3 : The Horror ShowTotally different in style from the previous 2 films, indeed it was so different it was released plainly as "The Horror Show" in the USA and not even marketed as a "House" sequel there, the third in Sean Cunningham's "House" series ditches the humorous aspects of the previous films, and goes for the serious approach.

This film stars Lance Henricksen in the lead role this time round, playing Detective Lucas MacCarthy. A tough police officer who single headedly managed to apprehend a vicious serial killer named Max Jenke, or "Meat Cleaver Max" as he was known (played by notable character actor Brion James).

Jenke, who is reported to have murdered over 100 people, is sent to the electric chair for his crimes. But following his execution, Detective MacCarthy finds himself troubled by constant hallucinations and nightmares of him threatening to get back at him from beyond the grave. At first he thinks nothing of it, believing it to be post traumatic stress. But as the visions continue to get worse, and after the fact the body of his daughters boyfriend is discovered in the basement of his house, it soon becomes apparent that old Meat Clever Max is indeed still around somehow, and is now after revenge on MacCarthy and his family.

The film seems to owe more than a passing nod to (ie it was probably ripped off) the Wes Craven film "Shocker", which was made in the same year. Viewed as a sequel to the previous "House" films it is rather disappointing, but allowed to stand on it's own merits it's quite an entertaining low budget horror pic, and is certainly worth watching. Even if it's just for Lance Henricksen and Brion James's notable performances.

Overall Marks : 7/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • Alternate tag lines... "House 1 was weird, House 2 was spooky, House 3 is scary as hell", "Hand over your soul", "You'll wish you were back on Elm Street".

  • The film was originally to have been directed David Blythe, however he was replaced after only a couple of days filming by James Isaacs.

  • Lance Henricksen is probably best known for his roles in the James Cameron films "Terminator" and "Aliens" as well as his leading role in the X-files spin off "Millennium". His other genre credits include "Piranha 2" (another Cameron film), "Near Dark", "Pumpkinhead", "Mind Ripper" and "Scream 3".

  • The film was originally titled, and released in the US, as "The Horror Show". However, for the international market the distributors re-titled the film "House 3" as they thought the film would have more commercial appeal as a sequel to the producers previous movies. Despite the fact this wasn't a horror-comedy like the others and the story wasn't about a house.

  • The late Brion James, who played bad guy "Meat Cleaver Max Jenke", has had a long string of TV and movie roles, usually playing bad guys. His credits include "Blade Runner" (arguably his most notable role), "48 Hours", "Red Heat", "Tango and Cash", and "The Fifth Element".

  • Co-director James Isaac went onto work with Sean Cunningham again to direct the 10th "Friday the 13th" film "Jason X".

  • Dedee Pfeifer, who plays detective MacCarthy's daughter, is the sister of Michele Pfeifer. Aron Eisenberg who plays MacCarthy's son also appeared in "Amityville 4 : The Evil Escapes" and is probably best known for his role as "Nog" the Ferengi in "Star Trek -Deep Space Nine".

  • Lewis Arquette who plays Lt. Miller is the Father of the well known Arquette family of actors (David, Rossanne, Patricia etc..).

  • The US release, entitled "The Horror Show" was heavily cut for an R rating, which removed virtually all the gore. The UK release was however of the directors uncut version, though this still missed out a nightmare scene where Lance Henricksen's character removes his heart from an opening in his chest. The original UK video by 'Braveworld' and DVD by 'Hollywood DVD' were of the directors version, however the disc contained in the Anchor Bay box set released in 2004 was of the cut US version.

Extra Info.

Cast & Crew.

 

 
Buy Online.

Buy the UK DVD (uncut version).

Buy the UK DVD box set (parts 1-4).

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Other films in the series.

 

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