Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Devil Times Five (1974)

aka The Horrible House on the Hill

When a van transporting a group of criminally insane children crashes, the kids survive and wander off through the snow.  They head toward an isolated lodge in the distance where home owner Papa Do is hosting guests who are sure to provide plenty of unnecessary drama.  There's his untrustworthy wife Lovely who spends her time trying to seduce Ralph the mentally challenged caretaker as well as Rick, a former lover.  Next we have Papa Doc's daughter Julie and her boyfriend Rick, who spends his time fighting off Lovely's advances. He works for Papa Doc and often irritates him due to Ricks tendency to speak his mind and not get pushed around.  Employee Harvey is a milquetoast trying to work up the nerve to ask for a promotion, transfer, and raise.  Plus Harvey's drunk of a wife.

Into this unhealthy atmosphere come the children, who tell them our weekend vacationers about their car crash, but leave out the part about living in an asylum.  Julie and Rick start to think the kids are weird, but the others aren't the swiftest and don't notice anything peculiar about them.  Too bad because strange things start happening. The generator shuts off, the electricity goes out, and phone don't work. Oh it must be that slow witted caretaker. It couldn't possibly be the children who are killing off the adults in a series of events rigged to look like accidents.

Apparently there were issues behind the scenes and sections of the film had to be re-shot.  This would  explain why Leif usually has long dark blond locks, but sometimes ends up in a bad brown wig.  Also there are several scenes in which he takes the wig off to reveal short dark hair underneath.  In the context of the film, it makes no sense.

Leif's little sister Dawn Lyn played the youngest killer kid, and their mother played Lovely, the nymph wife of Papa Doc.  I hope the kids didn't attend a premiere or see the film when they were young since their mom has several topless scenes in it.

Leif Garret - killer kid with cool 70s hair....
...but sometimes a bad brown wig makes an appearance
Sorrell Booke later had the role of Boss Hogg
on The Dukes of Hazzard
Four of the five insane children in a promo
shot with the alternate title for the film

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