Horror. Comics. Off-beat.

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 standard 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 you VHS Preservation Society): the 1981 slasher Home Sweet Home. I didn’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 motive—not even a flimsy one—but that part didn’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 by Don Edmonds, director of the Ilsa 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 by a very young Vinessa Shaw).

The first half hour or so of the film is enjoyable, but in a bad way. It’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 hell for the final hour. The kills certainly are not very inventive. You don’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 made…at least I get to scratch one off the list. Other films we may be thankful for this month include the Parker Posey-starring The House of Yes, the hour-long, turkey-slasher mini-epicThankskilling (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 classic 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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