Viewing Spookies is an unusual experience and I expect reviewing it to be even more so. Originally an entirely different movie called “Twisted Souls”; Spookies began life in 1984 and reached the editing stage in the same year when a disagreement between the producers and the financial backer prevented any final post-production work from being carried out. So what’s a guy to do when he has an unfinished movie? Hire a new director to shoot new footage of course! So this results in essentially two movies being stuck together, one rather good and the other extremely bad.
Spookies tells the story of a group of “Teenagers” who decide to go and throw a party at an abandoned mansion, using a Ouija Board they unwittingly release a horde of monsters including mud-men, lizard monsters, the grim reaper, an electrical monster, Demons, a skeletal Witch, Zombies, a vampire boy, a cat creature and a spider woman not to mention many more! Little do they release that the monsters are actually being controlled by a centuries old Sorcerer who is using them to pick off the group one by one so that their life-force can support him and his undead bride...
Now if you haven’t yet guessed, “Twisted Souls” is all the stuff with the teenagers and the Ouija Board involving the mud-men, lizard monsters, grim reaper, electrical monster, Demons and spider woman. The new footage shot for “Spookies” is the story of the Sorcerer and his undead bride, featuring the cat creature, some of the Zombies, the vampire boy and skeletal witch. Needless to say, the Twisted Souls footage is significantly better; it’s a bit like Night of the Demons (1988) but just with heaps and heaps more monsters. By monsters I mean classic 80’s creatures as well, if you love movies like The Gate (1987) and the already mentioned Night of the Demons then you are going to love this. The effects really are incredible and there’s something to appeal to everyone, personally my favourite being the Grim Reaper statue. As soon as you see it you know something’s going to happen with it and it’s also pretty unique as the grim reaper doesn’t seem to feature in many movies. Of course the most famous and lauded over part of Spookies is the Spider Transformation sequence and needless to say it’s amazing. It brings home just how sad it is that these kinds of effects aren’t used as much anymore, having been replaced by CGI.
Now we move on to the specially shot “Spookies” footage. Oh dear. Admittedly it’s not up to the standard of Twisted Souls and the editing stands out almost painfully so. The main problem is that the effects are of a much lower standard than the Twisted Souls ones, the zombies at the end being a prime example! However whilst being bad it is admittedly enjoyably so! The new footage understands what the old footage was trying to do and if anything introduces us to just more monsters, and there is nothing wrong with that! For example whilst the aforementioned Zombies were a letdown compared to the ones introduced earlier in the film, there is a weird Witch creature that was one of my favourite monsters in the whole picture.
Ok so the new effects are pretty bad but somehow still enjoyable. This isn’t the only problem with the Spookies footage though; the real problem is that the Sorcerer plot it introduces just doesn’t work at all with the footage already shot. I understand trying to fill in the plot whilst having none of the original actors is going to be difficult but to the viewer it’s painfully obvious what’s gone on. The actors do an ok job but the guy who is playing the sorcerer is obviously not that old and he just looks like a man in a mask. The poor sod playing the weird cat creature has what is probably the most boring job in existence. There must be at least over ten shots of him wandering around which they splice with footage from Twisted Souls to make it look like he’s stalking them. It doesn’t work. The sorcerer plot takes prime and the twisted souls stuff if simply a side plot- BUT IT’S THE MOST INTERESTING AND ENTERTAINING PART OF THE FILM.
Away from the fact that your mind boggles whilst trying to watch what is essentially two films, Spookies is an insanely enjoyable experience. It evokes a good old fashioned “spooky” feel (as the title suggests!) being one of those movies perfect for late night Halloween viewing. Yeah it may be sad that we can’t see Twisted Souls how it was originally supposed to be but the Spookies footage in fair is still enjoyable and when the credits finally rolled I still found myself with a big smile on its face. Haunted Houses, Demons, fog, ghouls it’s all here! Spookies is good old fashioned monster fun and I think that was what it was always supposed to be.
Welcome one and all- Please leave sanity at the door
A Teenage boy with a passion for all things nerdy! Expect a lot of Doctor Who, Cult/Horror Movies, Literature and Novels, History, Comic Books and random thoughts. Posts published weekly on a Friday evening. DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of the items reviewed on this site and i also do not own of the pictures (unless stated so). If you own one of the photos and wish for it to be removed contact me at this adress: Super.firstname.lastname@example.org. However all of the written work is my own and is protected under copyright law.