Horror films shot on video are a dime a dozen nowadays, but Boardinghouse was the first one to do it way back in ’82. The filmmakers tried to pass off the film’s shoddy visual quality by saying that it was shot in “Horror-Vision” (a gimmick worthy of the old William Castle days) although it actually looks LESS professional than your run-of-the-mill shot-on-tape pornos from around the same time. Director John Wintergate apparently got to borrow his buddy’s house for the weekend, bought a second rate camcorder, and somehow convinced a whole lot of honeys to remove their tops so that they could star in a “movie”. The resulting mess actually played in theaters (!!!) and made money on home video. Yet another sign of the impending apocalypse.
Wintergate stars as a douchebag who inherits a house where there has been a lot of paranormal activity that results in people dying in extremely random ways. Now that he has a swinging bachelor pad, he decides to loan the place out to a herd of hot chicks who gladly exchange bodily fluids with him in lieu of rent. He also has a bunch of hokey metaphysical abilities like being able to levitate eggs and make soap move around by itself. When the house possesses one of the bimbos, she goes crazy during a rock concert and rips out people’s hearts and makes their eyeballs shoot out into a bowl of grits. In what is passed off as an “ending”, Wintergate shows up at the last minute to do a Jedi Power Battle with the possessed chick using his nominal psychic abilities.
As previously stated, Boardinghouse was the first crappy shot-on-video horror film ever made, which is kinda like saying you were the first person to catch smallpox or something. The film runs a gargantuan 99 minutes; every second of which is filled with massive amounts of Deep Hurting. The sucky videotography is so inept that during “scary” sequences it’s hard to tell just what the heck is going on because everything is so goddamned dark. No matter how many floating pig heads this movie had in it, the scene where the director meditates in his underwear was hands down the scariest part in the whole movie.
If there is a saving grace to this film (or at least something that would prevent me from giving it NO STARS), it’s that there is an ample amount of nubile naked nymphos running around topless to keep you semi-awake during this cinematic abortion. There are also a handful of OK deaths like a hand stuck in a garbage disposal, a hanging via nylon stocking, low-rent gut ripping, and a cat being brained with a hammer. Sadly, these effects are so bad that it makes your little brother running around with Heinz 57 on his face seem like Tom Savani in comparison.
You know, as someone who keeps saying that they’re going to make a movie some day; I found a lot of inspiration from watching Boardinghouse. I can always be rest assured that it doesn’t matter if my movie is as bad as this one; there’s still a chance that it could be released into theaters and get put on DVD in a “Special Edition”.