SOV Summer: Boardinghouse (1982) Review

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*Note: I wrote this review before Code Red’s release of this incredible film.

For those of you unaware of who exactly to blame for the shot-on-video sub-genre, look no further than director David Wintergate who made the first SOV flick, Boardinghouse. It would be easy enough to attack the poor Mr. Wintergate for creating such an ill-conceived movement, but I’ll be damned, Boardinghouse is good stuff.

vlcsnap-2009-08-06-21h50m30s17Of course, you’ll have to forgive its many faults, including the awful opening sequence, which features a very primitive word processor delegating information to the audience regarding the house in question. After a few minutes of obnoxious beeping, I thought I was through with this cheap backyard slasher, but then came the real movie, featuring Wintergate as Jim (looking a lot like Michael Des Barres) practicing the art of telekinesis in his underwear at his office! We soon find out that Jim has put out an ad for tenants, women only no less, to live with him in his large but rather bland house. Being the 80s – which means tons of women with loose morals – the house fills up quicker than a bar on bottomless beer night. In fact, there are so many women, it’s almost impossible to keep track of them all. I ended up calling them “Blonde Floozy” and “Hot Blonde British Girl” just to identify them.

Things are sexy, fun and pretty mild until some sort of unseen force starts slicing its way through the estrogen. Luckily, before each gory scene Wintergate threw in a hallucinogenic warning sign so we can cover our poor, virgin eyes if need be. One of the girls, Victoria (Kalassu… that’s right, simply Kalassu), an up and coming rock star (and the only girl with a discernable personality) also has the touch and during a house party, the couple go toe to toe with the menacing force, which frankly was never that menacing to begin with.

vlcsnap-2009-08-06-22h03m01s87Boardinghouse is a movie that has to be seen to be believed. But be forewarned, you must have the constitution of a true horror hound with a taste for the totally absurd to watch it all the way through. Luckily, I am that person, so this was as good as ice cream on a hot summer day. I don’t think I could exactly pinpoint what was so bewitching about this mess of movie, but I laughed the whole way through and I just simply enjoyed the moxey of Wintergate. Plus Kalassu does show some real presence as an actress and a singer and gives the disgruntled audience one character to hold on to.

Since its original release, Boardinghouse has been relegated to the dusty back shelves of video stores, which is unfortunate, especially in this day and age where we’ve reached a new pinnacle of SOV madness. Few of these newer films can hold a candle to Wintergate’s extremely flawed but effervescent sleaze fest. I hope Wintergate is aware of the lunacy he’s unleashed on genre fans across the globe and I hope he’s smiling.

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11 Responses to “ SOV Summer: Boardinghouse (1982) Review ”

  1. Yes, it must be seen to be believed. Just make sure you have a six pack by your side to help digest the wackiness.

  2. Im sorry i love most slashers from 79-82 and i was very excited to see this when my amazon order came in the mail, but Boarding house was a complte pile of crap. i sold it the next day and i dont miss it.

  3. “I hope Wintergate is aware of the lunacy he’s unleashed on genre fans across the globe and I hope he’s smiling.” – According to the brief interview with him, in the back of Stephen Thrower’s “Nightmare USA”, – he is.

    “I ended up calling them “Blonde Floozy” and “Hot Blonde British Girl” just to identify them.” – wait till you see “Blood Lake”. You will refer to the guys as “Sleeveless Guy”, “Stoner Sleeveless Guy”, “Suspenders Sleeveless Guy”, & Tony. Tony is like no other.

  4. I remember renting this years ago. I vaguely remember seeing women walking around topless, or am I imagining this? I’ll add this to my list of DVD buys, but for now it’ll be on the bottom of the list. SOV horror needs a resurgence.

  5. I couldn’t believe it when this title was announced for a DVD release. That was the tipping point, I can no longer be shocked by anything coming to DVD anymore. The people at Code Red are doing God’s work.

  6. I love “Boardinghouse”! Right up there with “Horror House on Highway 5″, “Death Nurse”, “Blood Cult” and “555″. I think I’m addicted to shitty SOV horror…

    Great review by the way! However, the “few minutes of obnoxious beeping” is what actually drew me in!!!

    -RHR

  7. Boardinghouse defines the term “shit-pickle”, but somehow it is also very endearing. Maybe in a way that you can’t look away from an auto accident, or train wreck. This film walks the line between lowbrow art and renegade filmaking. It’s not something I can watch repeatedly, but you should be able to say that you have witnessed it once.

  8. Boardinghouse is cheesy fun much like the ridiclous “Murder Weapon” with Linnea ‘I always get naked’ Quigley.

  9. Amanda knows Boardinghouse is amazing, but does she know where the-bodycount-continues has disappeared to? :(

  10. Hey Amanda,
    Why don’t you do camp blood 1 and 2?

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