THE HORROR SHOW
HOUSE 3: YOUD RATHER BE ON ELM STREET
The plot is an unoriginal mixture of standard Elm Street reality intrusions and the cliches that the killer-come-back-from-the-electric-chair genre managed to set up for itself seemingly within the space of a single film. The philosophical ramblings on the nature of absolute evil having electrical physicality seem even more shonky than the usual explanations in these films. For all the routineness that exists down at the plot level, The Horror Show is a competently well made film. The film had a problematic production with director David Blyth, best known for Death Warmed Up (1984), walking off the set several days in and being replaced by former effects man James Isaac. Whether or not such is the case, some parts of the film give the appearance of being handled by different directors. One part of the film seems to be directed with a series of slick, fluid scares and treats the subject matter seriously; the other sets into many of the initial scenes with tongue planted considerably in cheek. The opening dream sequence, for instance, has the amusingly campy images of bodies being fed into meat grinders the legs left sticking up in the air, a head served up as a Blue Plate special, hands and cops caps sitting in deep-fry vats. Most amusing of all is the electrocution which Brion James plays with OTT relish Increase the voltage, shithead, he taunts the executioner, All that did was give me a hard-on.
Certainly, the films cast is considerably better than the nobodies that usually fill out these films. Lance Henriksen, a muchly underrated genre reliable, gives a performance that is solid and credible. His character is never required to be more than routine but Henriksens portrayal is exemplary. Brion James in a goatee and a pencil thin Arabian Nights topknot chews scenery with demented relish in the type of role he was born to play. There are also some good effects sequences like the image of Dedee Pfeiffer pregnant with Brion Jamess face in her belly and the turkey on the table that comes to life with Jamess face. For all that is good about the film though, it is never enough to surmount the routineness of the cliched plot.
Director James Isaac later collaborated with producer Sean S. Cunningham to make the tenth Friday the 13th film Jason X (2001). Isaac also directed Skinwalkers (2006) and Pig Hunt (2008) before his death in 2012.