Wednesday, April 7, 2010

House (1977)

Described by one reviewer as "an episode of Scooby Doo as directed by Dario Argento", House (ハウス, Hausu) is the first feature film from prolific director and screenwriter Nobuhiko Ōbayashi (大林宣彦). During the 60s, Ōbayashi spent his years following university producing short experimental films, while the next decade saw him directing commercials for television. He was able to use his expertise in these two seemingly divergent fields to produce a wholly engrossing, terrifyingly comic debut in this phantasmagorical coming-of-age nightmare.

According to Ōbayashi, production giant Toho Films was "tired of losing money on completely comprehensible films" and encouraged the director to "produce his own completely incomprehensible script". The result: a plethora of poltergeist phenomena and murderous mayhem; a film "too absurd to be genuinely terrifying, yet too nightmarish to be merely comic".

Fortunately, we here in San Francisco have the opportunity to experience the gut-busting, mind-blowing macabre of House on the big screen during an upcoming showing at the Castro Theater. North American distributor Janus Films is presenting the film in theaters across the country in preparation for its eventual DVD release, possibly slated for later this year. Additional show times and dates can be found by visiting the film's site.

House plays at the Castro Theater on Saturday, April 17th at 7:30 and 9:45p. For more information, click here.

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