Home, Sweet Home (1981)


Once upon a time there was this bodybuilding guru named Jake. Jake Steinfeld actually, but he went by Body by Jake and built an empire as trainer to the stars. He was rumored to be the only man to make Steven Spielberg throw up. There‚Äôs just a touch of irony that he caused such mayhem during a workout and not because of a viewing of Jake’s classic horror opus Home Sweet Home. Jake made his ominous debut here as The Killer, a Deranged PCP-Shootin’-Mother-Hater who stumbles upon some kind of recording bigwig and his Thanksgiving gathering. Jake laughs a lot, especially when he kills and to his credit, I laughed a lot too, so he must have been onto something…

vlcsnap-1768301Featuring notorious producer Don Edmonds (Ilsa She Wolf of the SS), Home Sweet Home kind of has a lot going for it. For one, it features mostly adults instead of teens. Sure, they’re still horny as hell, but there’s something palpable about the characters. The women are gorgeous and look to be of various ages. And the film has heart. Sure, it’s a kind of mindless and confused heart, but the acting is decent and there’s a real feeling that the filmmakers were shooting for something. Sometimes it just takes that little extra edge to make a movie work. OK, maybe work is a misleading word. Ah whatever, Home Sweet Home is also downright hilarious for all the wrong reasons and I’ll totally admit it… I liked this movie! In fact, I liked it a lot. So there.

The movie kicks off with a bang; Jake goes on a quick killing spree involving some guy with a beer and then an old lady. Then we cut to what I thought was a talking mime with an electric guitar – complete with a speaker strapped to his back! After careful consideration, I came to realize this mime was indeed a member of the Kiss Army! Remember them? If you do, you’re about as old as me, and that’s awesome. Anyway, aside from the annoying rock fan, there are some silly and sexy hijinks a bit of fluff and then finally Jake swoops in on his party hungry victims and puts some foot to ass.

vlcsnap-1620381There’s not really too much else to it. Luckily, the Kiss Army freak dies – he SO deserves it – and most of the cast goes along with him. Things move rapidly towards total chaos and then BAM, the obligatory shock ending. Not bad for a movie made in 1981.

As far as I’m aware, this is the only turkey day slasher (please let me know if this is wrong). I got a kick out of Eli Roth’s fake trailer in Grindhouse, simply titled Thanksgiving. One has to wonder if maybe a little bit of Jake rubbed off on Eli (Wow, that put an interesting picture in my head!). Just like that yearly celebration of indulgence, the world can certainly make room for one more helping of holiday sleaze. A feast for the soul, I say.

And please check out my Home, Sweet Home photo gallery.

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8 Responses to “ Home, Sweet Home (1981) ”

  1. Great article.

    About Thanksgiving slashers, I believe there is a short line in Madman that says something about “heading home this weekend to be with family at Thanksgiving,” or something to that effect. Stretching it, for sure, but it’s something. :)

  2. I watched this on fast-forward once! I keep meaning to watch it properly. ^Interesting about the Thanksgiving reference in Madman…

  3. I made a more “Thanksgiving-y” version of this for the Holidays. Featuring new music, a new title, and many corny elements removed. More of a straight-forward Holiday slasher now. You can download “Thanksgiving Massacre” here, as long as you own the original “Home Sweet Home” VHS: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=M2U6GMC9

    -Retro Horror Remix

  4. I think they reference Thanksgiving in Blood Rage aka Nightmare at Shadow Woods and there is a new movie called ThanksKilling (2009).

  5. Easily one of the most regrettable pieces of shit I ever forked over the cash for on ebay. I think I might have made an error and confused it with “To All A Good Night”, which has a semi similar cover on VHS. Lord knows I couldn’t have possibly read the reviews on the IMDb and thought “that sounds like a goodun’, now where do I plonk down my money?”! Good grief.

  6. FYI: It’s Jake Steinfeld, not Seinfeld, and “Body by Jake” not “Bodies by Jake”. Good article nonetheless.

  7. Hey Pete! Duly noted and fixed! Thanks!

    Thanks everyone for reading. I have heard from someone else that Blood Rage is a Thanksgiving Day slasher, so I’m giong to give it a go next year, I think!

    And yes Ross, I TOTALLY remember them talking about Thanksgiving in Madman. If I don’t get to Blood Rage, maybe it will be time to watch Madman for the holidays!

    Thanks again everyone!

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