Monday, October 12, 2015

Fun Sized Movie Treats (Part 7)

"Ooo! Piece of candy!".
-James Woods.

Four in one today.
Like yesterday, don't get excited.

The First Four Amityvilles.

From here.

Maybe this ropes me into doing the whole series, but...fuck it, I'm not gonna.
They're all just awful.

'Cept maybe the first one.
And, really only cuz Margot Kidder gets naked.

Well, that was three years ago, and here I am.
Also, I re-watched part 1, and I was wrong. Margot was full-frontal in some other movie before this.
There's a little bit of nip-slip though.


The Amityville Horror (1979)
Take away the scary music, and engage your critical mind, and...these are the most boring un-scary ghosts ever.
All the real fear comes from Catholic hysteria.
I think there's even a point in the flick where a skeptical secular priest gives a rant how nothing that's happened doesn't have a logical explanation. How right he is.
You debunked yourself, movie. How meta.
I had fun going through (and you can do this too) and labeling it all "hysteria", "hallucination", "dream", "sleep paralysis dream", "no one else was there, so a lie", "bullshit drama act to get validation", and so on.
This whole series really ought to be called "Hysterical Catholics", and have Looney Tunes music for the score.

Amityville II: The Possession (1982)
See here.

Amityville 3-D (1983)
See here.

Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes (1989)
The Catholics are really hysterical this time.
This time, they're scared of a fucking lamp.
Yep....a lamp.
Oh, it's no normal lamp, it looks like a tree man with a big light bulb for a head, and Christmas lights for fingers. It'd be a nifty carnival haunted house decoration, but...come on, movie.
Also, at the end, the spirit of the lamp goes into the cat.
A demon possessed cat would be indistinguishable from a regular cat in every single way.

Okay, continuity note time.

2 is the prequel to 1.
3, the house is destroyed, so that's always the end.
4, the house is back, so it's a prequel to 3.


2 is 1, 1 is 2, 4 is 3, and 3 is 4.

Got that?
All righty then.

*Rubs hands together*

From here.

I just figured out the format too!

I'll apply Carl Sagan's Baloney Detection Kit to each one.

Yep, that's right, I'm retroactively making this happen. B-)
So, here we go.

Applying this to Diane Warren, and the Lutzes, and only the first movie....

1. How reliable is the source of the claim? 

Not very. 

2. Does this source often make similar claims? 

Hells yeah.

3. Have the claims been verified by another source? 

Going by just the movie, they studiously avoided psychiatrists, and scientific testing, and went right for the ooga-booga shit. So, a big "no", on that one.

4. How does the claim fit with what we know about how the world works? 

Not very well.
Basically, the assertion is that emotions are an invisible physical stuff instead of a transitory brain state, and really bad feelings can stick to a house, and make it come to life (despite not having biological anatomy), and be "bad", in a Manichaean moral sense.
This is not how emotions, morals, or houses work.
Any more than the body is governed by humors, or babies come from the stork.

5. Has anyone gone out of the way to disprove the claim, or has only supportive evidence been sought? 

See 3. Right to the ooga booga.

6. Does the preponderance of evidence point to the claimant's conclusion or to a different one? 

The latter.

7. Is the claimant employing the accepted rules of reason and tools of research, or have these been abandoned in favor of others that lead to the desired conclusion? 

The latter.

8. Is the claimant providing an explanation for the observed phenomena or merely denying the existing explanation? 

The latter.

9. If the claimant proffers a new explanation, does it account for as many phenomena as the old explanation did? 

Hells no.
Nobody asks "why is Satan doing this?".
"Why is God allowing Satan to do this?".
"HOW are God and Satan doing this?".
"Howcome Catholics are the only religion that can fix this?".
We're basically left with "magic", and "mysterious ways", and that's no explanation at all.
And "because we fucking say so", for the last one.

10. Do the claimant's personal beliefs and biases drive the conclusions, or vice versa? 

The former.
Hell YES the former.

And that's taking the film at face value.
There are second hand accounts of the Lutzes admitting that they and Jay Anson sat around with a typwriter and some wine, and made it all up.

There's your "mysterious ways".

As for the sequels, that's cynical Hollywood shit, so of course those are made up.

Okay, but set aside my atheist-skeptic biases, and accepting that all movies are fiction anyway, are they good flicks?
The first one.
That's a serviceable little horror flick, but nothing worth the legendary status it holds.
At least with the movie stars, and famous score, it's a real movie.
After that, nose dive.

Next up, the nose dive.


B. D. said...

Never watched ANY of the Amityville Horror movies, but part of me wonders if half of the horror industry would even exist if Catholicism didn't.

'Course, we'd be out some good Scorsese flicks too.

(we'd also be out Kevin Smith, so yay.)

Diacanu said...

You've got a good point there.

I think we'd still have serial killer movies though.

No pretense with those guys, they're blue collar salt of the Earth types.

B. D. said...

Well then again if Catholicism didn't exist we might be out the serial killers too because "Halloween," "Friday The 13th," "A Nightmare On Elm Street" etc. do have that tendency to prey on the idea of punishing kids for having sex which dovetails neatly with Catholicism...or maybe it just doesn't count...ah well.

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