House: The Complete Collection has arrived on Dual-Format DVD and Blu-ray for the first time courtesy of Arrow Video. It features 2K restorations of all four films in 1080p high definition and the limited edition version includes a 60 page book about the franchise.
“Damn. Came back from the grave and ran out of ammunition.”
Each of the four films centres around a different house, but they all have two things in common. A cracking musical score by Henry Manfredini (Friday the 13th, Eden Falls), atmospheric in a way that only eighties films can be, and the inescapable fact that anything could happen and probably will.
The original House, released in 1985, sees Vietnam vet and struggling horror author Roger Cobb (William Katt – Carrie, Subterranea) move into his childhood home after the death of his aunt. He is suffering from writer’s block following the disappearance of his son and has since separated from his wife Sandy (Kay Lenz – Breezy, American Graffiti). He thinks the change of scenery will provide inspiration, but the house and his neighbour Harold (George Wendt – Cheers, Forever Young) have other ideas.
House II: The Second Story, released in 1987, tells us the story of Jesse (Arye Gross – Minority Report, Big Eden) and his partner Kate (Lar Park Lincoln – Knot’s Landing), who move into an old house previously owned by his parents. Their friends Charlie (Jonathan Stark – Fright Night) and Lana (Amy Yasbeck – The Mask, Pretty Woman) come to stay and when Jesse and Charlie dig up the body of his Great Great Grandfather,or Gramps (Royal Dano – The Outlaw Josie Wales) as he prefers to be called and find a mysterious crystal skull, they set in motion a horrifying (and hilarious) chain of events.
House III: The Horror Show was released in 1989, but was not originally part of the franchise. It is quite different in tone and style, still good, but in a different way without the comedy. This instalment stars Lance Henriksen (Aliens, Millennium) as Detective Lucas McCarthy, a police officer who catches a brutal serial killer, Max Jenke (Brion James – Red Heat, Tango and Cash). Lucas goes to watch his execution, but it is an appalling experience, taking far too long and resulting in Jenke being changed to a form of energy which allows him to terrorize the home and family of Lucas.
The final film House IV: The Repossession, released in 1992, sees the return (albeit briefly) of Roger Cobb (William Katt). After he is tragically killed in a car crash, his wife Kelly (Terri Treas – Alien Nation, The Fabulous Baker Boys) and daughter Laurel (Melissa Clayton – A Peaceable Kingdom) move into yet another weird and wonderful Cobb family property, this time built over an ancient Native American Indian seal. They are also forced to contest ownership with Burke (Scott Burkholder – Swordfish), Roger’s brother-in-law.
This is a great box set, perfect viewing for any eighties horror buffs out there, with lots and lots of special features to enjoy in addition to these classic films. The House franchise was always one of the crazier entries to the horror genre, with it’s gooey monsters, zombie cowboys, talking turkeys and singing pizza, this night in will be one to remember!
“Look at me. I’m a 170-year-old fart. I’m a goddamn zombie.”
House: The Complete Collection is available to buy now on Dual Format DVD and Blu-ray.