Spookies (1986) review


The fact that Spookies even exists is a testament to the perseverance of its production team.

Following the success of the Goonies just a year before, Producer Michael Lee hired Thomas Doran and Brendan Faulkner to direct the then titled, ‘Twisted Souls’.

After the film in its original cut format was screened to some executives (totally around 2 hours 30 minutes) and with Lee not happy the Directors were both fired. From here he brought on Genie Joseph who shot additional segments to create the disjointed mess that is Spookies.

This is very much a style over substance exercise as it has to be said, Spookies has some of the best practical effects for a low brow 80s horror flick.

With more monsters than you can shake a stick at, it is just a shame that the story did not match up to its effects.

We have hints of Ghoulies, Evil Dead and the classic creature features but there is also some really bad makeup for some characters that make them look like cheap Halloween masks.

Probably attributed to the production issues, the film can’t really decide what it wants to be as it begins with a young boy being attacked in some woods and subsequently buried alive.

From here the film switches to a group of extremely unlikeable thirty-somethings who become trapped in a haunted mansion where a necromancer is attempting to bring his long lost bride back from the dead using their souls.

The fact that the acting is so bad really strips away any sympathies we have for these characters who don’t really seem to get that they are meant to be in peril throughout.

The most frustrating thing about Spookies is that it feels like somewhere there is a good film in here, but because it is effectively two films spliced together it just feels tonally disjointed.

Sadly, this isn’t a forgotten 80s film worth re-discovering.

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