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Retro Review: Home Sweet Home (1981)

The tagline makes no sense, as only one character is named Bradley.

Home Sweet Suck: A Thanksgiving Story

A couple years ago, Joanna and I watched a duo of flicks with Thanksgiving as the backdrop. The first was the annual standardĀ Home for the Holidays. The second was a movie that I had been wanting to see for years, and of which I was finally able to procure a copy over the summer (thank youĀ VHS Preservation Society): the 1981 slasherĀ Home Sweet Home. I didnā€™t know anything other than it was a slasher that took place at Thanksgiving.

The movie starts out by disregarding the then-standard of slasher cinema by showing us the killer. No mask, no mystery (and no connection to the victims and no motiveā€”not even a flimsy oneā€”but that part didnā€™t bother me). So we see a beefy, Lou Ferrigno-type guy in a skintight shirt kill some dude and take his station wagon. He then runs down an old lady crossing the street, and proceeds to drive out to the country where a wannabe record exec guy (played byĀ Don Edmonds, director of theĀ IlsaĀ movies) is throwing a California-style Thanksgiving gathering for his friends (also present are his son Mistake, a rock-and-roll-obsessed-but-looks-more-like-a-mime-than-KISS amateur magician and his daughter Angel, played byĀ a very young Vinessa Shaw).

The first half hour or so of the film is enjoyable, but in a bad way. Itā€™s entertaining to watch the stereotypical bad acting, the flimsy plot and the absurd set-up and characterization going on. After everything is in place, though, the movie is just boring as hellĀ for the final hour. The kills certainly are not very inventive. You donā€™t care one way or the other about a single character. And again, the killer looks like Lou Ferrigno.

Suffice it to say, we will not likely be making this flick a November tradition. But still, in my never ending quest to see every 80s slasher ever madeā€¦at least I get to scratch one off the list. Other films we may be thankful for this month include the Parker Posey-starringĀ The House of Yes, the hour-long, turkey-slasher mini-epicThankskillingĀ (this movie is actually pretty fun if you go not expecting anything other than a turkey killing kids and dishing out one-liners), and the Pauly Shore classicĀ Son-in-Law. Just killing time until we can sink our teeth into the many and varied Christmas flicks we watch every December.

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  1. Home Sweet Home - USA, 1981 - HORRORPEDIA

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