Most people think of Hugh Laurie when they hear “House”, but some of us think “Ding Dong, You’re Dead”.  The DVD we are watching is from Anchor Bay, although I read a new version is coming out soon.  Fred Dekker wrote this, and given that he is the mind behind the fantastic "Night of the Creeps", hopes are flying high.  Like Creeps, this also came out in '86.  good year for Dekker, good year for film fans.  Ding dong...


[Flashback to the past at the haunted mansion of the main character's recently deceased aunt. It might help if I mention that the main character, named Roger, is played by William Katt.]

Lovelock: Mrs Hooper has an odd choice in art.

Starkwell: It’s called foreshadowing.

Lovelock: Yeah well, believe it or not he’s walking on air.


[Roger sees his child drowning in the pool and leaps in to save him.]

Lovelock:  Did you see him dive in for that kid?  He might just be, the Greatest American Hero.

Starkwell: You have to promise me that’s the last time, because so far the movie is great, and if you keep that up, you will ruin it.

[I should mention that William Katt played the main character in the television series entitled "The Greatest American Hero".]


[Sketchy real estate agent gives Roger the tour of his newly inherited mansion, during which they see a lot of weird tools, art pieces, and well, a harpoon that the agent fires 'accidentally' in the direction of our hero.  I don't know the actor's name that played the agent, but I recognize him as one of those 80's character actors who always plays sleazebags.]

Lovelock: I don’t trust this real estate guy.

Starkwell: Was it the harpoon misfire? Genius?

Lovelock: No, it’s because that actor always plays dickheads. 

Starkwell: Yeah, keep the House, that’s a great idea.

Lovelock: It’s an investment.  Rent is for suckers.


[Roger wears an awful sweater, and we are introduced to George Wendt's character, the neighbor.]

Lovelock: Well we found the movie’s first big flaw: The Low-Cut V-Neck.

Starkwell: Norm just rescued the scene though with AMAZING COMEDY.


I was eating blueberry scones for a while, so I missed a lot of what Allen and Lionel were saying, but at some point during a flashback scene they mentioned something about Vietnam looking pretty gosh darn wacky.  Also, that the jungle didn’t look like the jungle.  Many more comments were made about Roger’s sweaters.

Then they kept repeating the line “Do you think I’m… Looney Tunes?”


[Roger's wife is a famous actress in the movie, and somehow the neighbor is able to call her from his home phone.  I don't know, I guess she was in the phone book.]

Starkwell: She’s awfully easy to reach for a famous actress.

Lovelock: Uh, yeah, it’s called realism.

Starkwell: In that case, find me William Katt's number, I want to see if he still has those sweaters.


[The haunted mansion springs to life, inanimate objects start moving.]

Lovelock: Flying tools is scary, but the flapping undead trophy fish is horrifying.

Starkwell: I don’t think you are seeing just how well written this movie is.

Lovelock: It’s hard, when I’m distracted by the timelessly cool special effects.


[Roger kills a demon and hides it from the cops, who search his place but then leave him alone when they realize he is a famous author.]

Starkwell: Worst policemen ever.

Lovelock: Best fist pump ever.

[Enter the amazing 80's montage of burying a demon body.]

Starkwell: Worst musical interlude ever.

Lovelock: Still, it’s a good how-to for disposing of a random demon body.


[Roger gets swallowed by the closet, the neighbor watches, but does nothing but open a bottle of booze.]

Starkwell: Wait, so he disappears into Vietnam closet and Norm decides it's Miller time?

Lovelock: It’s been hard for him ever since he stopped going to Cheers.


At this point the movie gets loads more intense, as Roger battles his own personal demons, being wonderfully represented by actual demons.  Roger has to deal with the skeletons in his closet.  Anyways, I’m sure you get it.  Both Starkwell and Lovelock are silently hypnotized.


[We approach the happy end to the movie.]

Lovelock: “Ding Dong, You’re Dead” doesn’t really make any sense once you’ve seen the movie.

Starkwell: I don’t think that’s important.

Lovelock: Well, it is to me.


Since Allen and Lionel both stood up in applause as the film ended, I assume that they enjoyed the movie.  Not sure who they are applauding, maybe whoever put the movie on.  Believe it or not, it’s just me.

They sat back down pretty quickly when the atrocious song came on during the credits.


Lovelock: Night Court! That’s where I’ve seen him.


  1. Anonymous18:33

    GameDoc is trying really hard to remember this movie but can't. Shit.

  2. Just found your blog, bookmarking it now... good stuff, this!

    Of course, speaking of House, you know there was a sequel, right? "House 2: the Second Story"

    If memory serves, it was pretty meh...

  3. @GameDoc: It's a good one.

    @Michael: Never saw it, but I know it has nothing to do with the first...

  4. I somehow remembered this movie-- one I'd seen as a kid-- and I remember being FREAKED out-- other dimenions, grossly bloated monster chicks. Oh ya-- it had an effect on me. I'm glad I'm not the only one!!!

  5. I've heard the sequel is atrocious, but at least this one is a GEM.

  6. jervaise brooke hamster16:59

    Steve Miners 2008 remake of "Day of the Dead" with Girl-a Suvari must be one of the most ludicrously under-rated horror movies of all-time, i cannot believe how that movie has been trashed by critics over the last 3 years because i think it was even better than Romeros 1985 classic original ! ! !.

  7. "House" is a good movie. The "Day of the Dead" 'remake'... not so much.

    It might have been better if had not been called "Day of the Dead".

  8. jervaise brooke hamster17:11

    "House II: The Second Story" is not quite as good as the original but its not "atrocious" in any way and is well worth watching.