Home Sweet Home (1981 film)

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Home Sweet Home
Home Sweet Home FilmPoster.jpeg
Original poster
Directed by Nettie Peña
Produced by Don Edmonds
Screenplay by Thomas Bush
Story by Thomas Bush
Starring Jake Steinfeld
Vinessa Shaw
Peter De Paula
Music by Richard Tufo
Cinematography Don Stern
Edited by Nettie Peña
Production
company
Movies Anonymous Partnership
Intercontinental Releasing Corporation
Distributed by Intercontinental Releasing Corporation
Release date
  • 1981 (1981) (United States)
Running time
83 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Home Sweet Home (also known as Slasher in the House) is a 1981 American slasher film directed by Nettie Peña, and written by Thomas Bush. It stars Jake Steinfeld, Peter De Paula, and Vinessa Shaw in her film debut, and the plot focuses on a PCP-addicted killer who terrorizes a family in their remote home on Thanksgiving. Along with Blood Rage and the faux Thanksgiving trailer from Grindhouse), it is one of the few slasher films centered on the Thanksgiving holiday, and one of the few to be directed by a woman.[1]

While not prosecuted for obscenity, the film was seized and confiscated in the UK under Section 3 of the Obscene Publications Act 1959 during the video nasty panic.

Plot[edit]

A parked motorist is strangled by escaped mental patient Jay Jones, a PCP addict who was institutionalized after bludgeoning his parents. Jay carjacks his victim, and runs down an old woman while driving through Los Angeles.

On the outskirts of the city, nine people have gathered to celebrate Thanksgiving at the ranch of Harold Bradley. Among the revelers are Harold's tenant Scott, and his girlfriend Jennifer. As there is no wine in the house, Harold's girlfriend Linda and her friend Gail borrow Scott's car to go and get some, while Jay cuts off the house's power. Harold turns on the emergency generator, leaves to get more gasoline for it, and happens upon Jay's abandoned station wagon. As Harold tries to take the battery out of the car, Jay slams the hood down on him, crushing his skull.

Jay severs the telephone line, and when Wayne goes out to look for Harold, he is garroted by Jay, who was hiding in the backseat of Wayne's car. Linda and Gail, who had become lost, run out of gas, and as they try to find their way back to the ranch, they run into Jay. Jay slams Gail's head into a rock, and stabs Linda to death with a broken bottle. Afterward, Jay returns to the house, where the remaining guests and members of the Bradley family have sat down to a turkey dinner.

When Wayne's girlfriend Maria goes to the washroom, Jay stabs her, and proceeds to chase Harold's son "Mistake" (a Kiss Army soldier) around the property, eventually catching and fatally shocking him with his own electric guitar and portable amplifier. Scott discovers Maria's body while collecting firewood, runs back to the ranch, and secures the building with Jennifer, and Harold's young daughter, Angel. Jay manages to break inside, and as he tries strangling Scott, Jennifer wounds him with a knife.

Jay recovers, slits Scott's throat, and pursues Jennifer, who faints while hiding in Scott's room. In the morning, Jennifer awakens, and is assaulted by Jay when she ventures outside. A pair of police officers, alerted to the situation by Angel, pull up, and blast Jay with a shotgun. As one officer places Jennifer in his car with Angel, the other checks on Jay, who opens his eyes.

Cast[edit]

  • Jake Steinfeld as Jay Jones
  • Vinessa Shaw as Angel Bradley
  • Peter De Paula as "Mistake" Bradley
  • Don Edmonds as Harold Bradley
  • Charles Hoyes as Wayne
  • David Mielke as Scott
  • Leia Naron as Gail
  • Lisa Rodríguez as Maria
  • Colette Trygg as Jennifer
  • Sallee Young as Linda
  • J. Kelly as Officer Jim
  • R. Fouts as Officer Tom
  • Victor Paddock as First Victim
  • Rochelle Constanten as Old Woman
  • Anne Cribbs as Witness

Reception[edit]

Retro Slashers wrote, "The film has heart. Sure, it's a kind of mindless and confused heart, but the acting is decent and there's a real feeling that the filmmakers were shooting for something".[2] A 1½ out of a possible 5 was awarded by Hysteria Lives!, which opined that "Home Sweet Home is a truly terrible movie. It's bad to the very core; but if you are in just the right mood and you're an aficionado of cheese then you might get a few kicks out of this fetid stinker".[3] Film Bizarro deemed the film an obnoxious mess that was filled with annoying and stupid characters, awful attempts at comedy, poorly done gore, and a complete lack of originality or successful horror.[4] Critical Condition found that Home Sweet Home was "one cop-out after another" marred by poor lighting and an antagonist who "hams it up so badly, you half expect bacon to fly off the screen".[5]

Film historian Adam Rockoff wrote of the film: "For being so irredeemably terrible, Home Sweet Home has a strangely compelling pedigree... I've heard that star Steinfeld has no sense of humor about involvement with the film, which makes watching this travesty almost worthwhile."[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Goldweber 2012.
  2. ^ Night, Amanda. "Review: Home Sweet Home (1981)". retroslashers.net. Retro Slashers. Archived from the original on 23 October 2007. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  3. ^ Kerswell, Justin (15 May 2012). "Home Sweet Home". hysteria-lives.co.uk. Hysteria Lives!. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  4. ^ Carnell, Preston. "Home Sweet Home". filmbizarro.com. Film Bizarro. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  5. ^ Adelman, Fred. "Horror D - I". critcononline.com. Critical Condition. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  6. ^ Rockoff 2015, p. 63.

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]