01 The Amityville Horror (1979)!
Join Strange Aeons Radio hosts Eric Morgret and Kelly Young on a chronological journey documenting the crazy and convoluted Amityville film "franchise". This episode: The Amityville Horror (1979)! With special Guest Anthony James Kay.
The Amityville Horror, 3d Strange aeons radio presents The Amityville Horror Picture Show. That's Eric over there. Well, where am I? And I am Kelly. We are your hosts on this kind of weird journey of the Amityville films. Each episode we're going to be bringing in a different guest hosts and I'm so pleased to announce that today's guest hosts is the inimitable Anthony James K. Hi, Tony. Hello, gentlemen, I am delighted to be here. Can you take 30 seconds and kind of brag about yourself and tell us what you're up to? Oh, gosh. So my name is Tony Kay. I am a freelance writer in the Seattle area. At the moment I'm writing for two different websites. One of them is called artists home.org. It's a Pacific Northwest focused music website. And the other thing I'm writing for at the immediate moment is a website called the sunbrite.com, which is a film culture website also based out of Seattle. I also panel at cryptic con frequently. So that is how I met these two gentlemen, I'm sitting I'm sitting next to and I am absolutely chomping at the bit to talk about the Amityville Horror. You know, Tony, it's always such a pleasure to see you. But I have to admit, Eric, and I just saw you a couple days ago and I was like, am I gonna be Tony doubt? Guess what? I am delighted to say that I loved seeing you as this morning just as much as I did. Oh my gosh, go. Oh, my God. It full bloom. I'm so happy. So let me open this up with a little bit of information on what we're doing here. We are talking about the Amityville Horror, the picture show. The movie that came out it's the kind of house they don't build anymore. A relic of a time when the world wasn't in such a hurry. When there was still time for a little charm and elegance. It has stood empty for a long while. And at the price, it is a bargain for a growing young family. It is almost too good to be true. But it's I love it. James Brolin Margot Kidder Rod Steiger in the Amityville Horror piece in this house Hello, Kathy. Father Delaney, there's something very important. I'm coming up. 28 days after the Lutz family moved into their dream house. They were running for their lives. What happened to them? Is an experience in terror. You will never forget. And you will believe in the Amityville Horror from the best selling book that made millions believe in the unbelievable. The Amityville Horror and the background on this is on November 13 1974, Ronald DeFeo, Jr. shot and killed six members of his family at their house on 112 Ocean Allendale in Amityville. He was convicted of second degree murder in November of 75. And in December of 75, George and Kathy Lutz and their three children moved into the house. After 28 days, Alexis left the house claiming to have been terrorized by paranormal phenomena while living there. These events served as the basis for J Ansons 1977 novel, The Amityville Horror, which was then adapted into film in 1979. Now the interesting thing about all of this as Amityville is a real town and the stories of DeFazio and the Lutz's are historical, there is no proprietary relationship to the underlying story elements associated with the Amityville haunting. So as a result of this, there have been no restriction on the exploitation of the story by film producers, which is the reason that most of these films share zero continuity in different companies and tell widely varying stories. When I when I thought this would be a good idea for a podcast. I was thinking, you know, a, a limited series that just ends when we get to the final Amityville film. As of this recording, there's about 30 films with the Amityville title in it, and nine of them have been made since 2019. Holy sheeps it wasn't you know, the high quality we're looking at in our family villain space and have a bad I have a bad feeling about this because I have skipped ahead to some of these movies, you guys and it is going to be it's going to be a struggle. Yeah. Oh, is there been an Amityville of sharks yet? Yes. Okay. Fine. Okay, good. Good. But that's, that's a that's a spoiler for later in the run of the talk. We'll start from the beginning. Right, so just some quick background on this. The Amityville Horror movie 1979 budget of about 4.7 million, and a worldwide box office have over $86 million. It is considered one of the highest grossing independent films of all time, it was American International pictures that put that out, as directed by Stuart Rosenberg who directed Cool Hand Luke Brubaker 46 other films and was written by Sandor Stern, who has a long list of Made for TV movies. And this which makes sense because this was originally going to be a made for TV movie. Do you guys know that? I you know if I hadn't have heard that from you, I would have suspected it strongly because the movie has that very kind of utilitarian flatness of a made for TV movies. And it just it just does. It's oddly long for that. Why is this movie two hours long? seems much longer. Yes, it says James Brolin, Margot Kidder and Rod Steiger for some reason. I want to start every episode out this way. And since you're the guest, Tony, I'll ask you first, what is your Amityville Horror origin story? How did you become aware of this thing? I think you have to be in our general demographic to really really realize what a big cultural deal this movie was. You literally could not pass by a newsstand or a bookstore or a department store and not see, like shelves and shelves of the Amityville Horror paperback. It was that that iconic image of the house with those triangular windows is it's it's etched in popular culture for a reason. It was it was it was everywhere. I never had a chance to read the book. I ended up going straight into the movie. And I saw it when I was 12 years old, I think no, I would have been 11. And I saw it at a theater called the Parkland theater. And I consider myself to be a bit of a doctor of schlock ology, I guess. And so the Parkland theater was my ground Grindhouse slash genre University. And so I saw it there. This was a theater that basically either ran, usually either in second run, like alias features, or they did double features. And I started living in this area, which was Spanaway, Washington about 10 miles south of Tacoma in 77, so I would have seen this about two years after moving into the house my parents bought it played as a single feature, which was kind of a rarity at the Parkland. If we had a single feature playing there. It was usually second run, like mainstream Hollywood movie, or you would always get a package deal double feature. So this was kind of a special event movie by Parkland theater standards, which, which, you kind of had sort of a hierarchy of crap when it came to movies that you saw in rural Pierce County. That's a whole other story because there's also the military theaters, which made the Parkland look like, I don't know, grommets Chinese. But yeah, it was a packed house. And I remember the movie making a strong impression on me there. And I'm sure we'll get into it. There are scenes in the movie that still, I think, on some visceral level work. And the thing that I think stuck with me watching it the most, at this point was what you just alluded to, which is that, that made for TV quality that it has. And I think, for me, I found it kind of like it gave the movie a patina, that actually, I think, arguably made it scary, or for me at the time, which was that it felt like a made for TV movie, it felt like a bad reenactment from an old in search of episode. And that patina of sort of first similitude, you know, sort of faked versus really gave it an air of that kind of unsettling cheat. Did this really happen? Maybe this really happened, you know, but bum rush by, you know, a list actors. It's a very, it's a very weird movie. I've watched it several times in prep for this. Sorry to hear that. What about you, Eric? Mine is a little different. I don't remember when I actually saw it. But what Tony was talking about there with the original of the story and the way it was all over the place. It was a huge influence on me for horror in general. The concept there's a group of films and their TV commercials the changeling, the omen and the Amityville Horror, that kind of all sit in the same place in my head, I've gone Wow, this is like horrible, forbidden stuff, because I'm, I'm a little younger Newtonian. So I wasn't old enough to see it or to convince my parents to take me to it because neither of them were really horror fans. But the omnipresence of it everywhere. And the story captured my imagination because I'm like, Holy shit, this is supposed to be a true story. And I don't know if you want me to tell you my full story about it now, because it's definitely more the end of what happened with the Amityville rush, is what helped me the most out well save that for the ending. But for the film itself, and the legend around it all was around the idea that this was real. Oh, totally. And I know, he's probably still in single digits. So it hit very much like, ooh, because I love that shit. I'd love to experience some paranormal thing as a kid. And this seemed like my best opportunity, at least for the time. For the early part of it. It did. Yeah, I'm kind of there with you. I was fascinated with shit like this. And I remember we had the book in the house. My My mom had a red ID. It was the black cover. It didn't. I don't think it had the picture of the house on the cover. But it did have the, the glowing, I think, no, it was a black cover. It just said the Amityville Horror. And then in that phospho with with the devil tail coming off of one wire or something like that. I can't remember exactly what it was. But I remember being terrified of it, because we lived in kind of a old haunted house at the time with a creepy basement and it made weird noises and doors would creak open whenever it wanted to and shit like that. So I was kind of a scared kid. Anyway, and then I just surrounded myself with that shit. I remember being taken to this in the theater by my sister and her see that her boyfriend or husband? You know, I would have been nine, I guess probably. And I remember that. I was like, terrified coming out of that. But her boyfriend, we get out and he's like, they just spend $3 To watch a chair rock by itself and glowing Christmas lights outside of a window. Not impressed. He was not impressed me to get him for the podcast. I'm still I'm still in very good touch with him. Probably much better relationship than my sister has these times. Oh, okay. So the movie opens with the detail murders. I watched this movie just recently for the podcast as well. And I thought to myself, this is a pretty chilling opening scene. I thought it was really effective. Yeah, and I think the editing is I think it's interesting the editing that they do, where there's inner cuts of just the shotgun fire, and then Oh, and here's the bedroom. Yeah, I mean it's it's not a exactly the most innovative of like, editorial slash filmmaking devices, but it worked, you know? Yeah, I love that. In the opening sequence, the shotgun is being blasted. But the thunder is also crashing. So you know, there's kind of a kind of an explanation why nobody would be waking up, I guess, although I think it'd be hard to sleep through that storm, quite honestly, I think there's a little, a little bit of the cat jumping out to the sound effects. But it all works really well. Jerry, I was just sort of a jumpscares. But at that point in the film, that kind of jumpscare doesn't bother me in a movie when it's used that well, right. And the music, I thought, at least at the beginning, I kind of like the opening credits, music and the stuff that's going on with that. Yeah, that doesn't necessarily last to the whole movie. But you know, it's funny. I think that's part of the the charm for me is the score, which is Lalo Schifrin, who did a lot of amazing stuff in the 70s. And it's equal parts brilliant, and clubbed over the head Hammy. Yeah, you've got that very creepy, childlike theme. But it's like swirled up with these earnest kind of heartwarming after special school music type, you know, music motifs, and then you've got the psycho violin strings, you know, which comment like, key points. In fact, they think they pop up when there's the cat jumpscare and it's like I'm just thinking to myself, Rosenberg, I'm just picturing him is like this grumpy old man who's like, hi, right, kids. Your venture, your venture scare you a bunch of jumps out right here. Here's a cat. That's a cat doing this, y'all see, he's gonna get you. Oh, you know? I did. And it feels like, I mean, there's, there's this, there's this sort of like old prose vigor to a lot of those. A lot of the scares that surface. It's not like super artful, but it's like, oh, the kids want some graphic violence. We'll throw it in here. You know, it's Yeah. And and it is it very much. I mean, it's, it's a 1979 era. amusement park ride, roller coaster ride, you know, as any, you know, competent, if not game changing horror movie at the time would have been sure. A year after the murders take place is when George and Kathy Lutz tour of the house, they're told about the murders. And then they make an offer of $80,000 on a house and we're told is worth at least 120. That was so like, Wow, man. Eric, you've been looking for houses with what do you find it in the 120,000 range? I'm guessing that some of the tents you see on the side of the road now are those $100,000 units? Yeah, I think you're probably probably right. And then at one point, she says, Kevin's character says man is will be 800,800 1000. You lucky talk. I'm dating someone who has been house shopping and just recently bought a house and paid more than 800 though, for it. More in West Seattle. Well listen to this you guys. The house is 5000 square feet. It has five bedrooms, three and a half bad bathrooms and a boathouse and in 2017 it sold for 605,000 is ALL Whoa, really? Asking price was 850. I'm guessing that it still gets a lot of weirdo traffic. And that probably is knocking the price down. Well, I heard they rearranged the those signature windows have been changed. Yeah, just now. Regular pumpkin a windows are gone. Yeah. I got a question for you guys. First of all, do you believe in the supernatural? I would. I mean, that's that's broad. Do you believe in ghosts? I would frame it this way in that I really want to. I would agree. That's That's me. I'm all Mulder, I'm largely Mulder on this. I want to believe I mean, I, you know, spiritually. I think of myself as an agnostic. I don't know what the hell there is out there. I would like there to be something beyond this mortal coil. I think it would be you know, it's like Kurt Vonnegut said, you know, then at least we you know, we'd know at the end. What What was the good news? What's the good news? If anything? But yeah, I mean, I'm always open minded to it. I you know, I I want more evidence. But yeah, I would like it to be their glowing orbs. Don't do it for you. Quite well. There was that time year a few years ago. Your real estate agent friend? Yeah. offered us to stay in a haunted house. No. We tried to get her to house supposedly haunted that she was trying to sell and we were trying to get her to let us stay for a night and film. Yeah, right. But, but Okay. With that in mind, then what would it take for you? You guys to say no to a house, even if it was a screaming deal. Six, six people being murdered a year before. Is that enough for you to go? Yeah. Not for me. In Seattle? No. In Seattle, it would take a Jonestown Massacre sighs You know, mass grave to maybe? And then even then it would just be oh, well not $20,000 off because 600 people died here 20 You know, or whatever? It's yeah, yeah, yeah. And I'm only slightly joking on that. The idea of hanging around energy or something. I mean, if you're thinking there's a negative energy, then you also can think you can get rid of whatever that negative energy is, if that's the reason you're not wanting to buy it, do whatever you need to have that whatever ritual or whatever will make you feel that go on. And then remember, it is just a house. Well, okay, so you're saying that now? You're married? Your wife is okay with 60? I don't know. She might have a very, very different, very different approach because you hear the we don't live in anything remotely resembling a haunted place. You know, it's a condo building, but you still get the weird noises. And we do have a weird crawlspace above our place. And so every once in awhile, she's like, Oh, what's that? She's going Oh, my God, what's happening? I'm like, oh, there's some cool Come on. Something. But let me let me see the cat staring at something on the wall and I walk over there and it's like, 40 degrees cold colder in the spy. Oh, good heavens, anything like that. It's like, Oh, that'd be that'd be cool. So okay, Kathy is religious. George is not but, but he chases religious. He's okay, though, with her bringing in a priest to bless the house and that priest is Rod Steiger literally in need of rent money. He's awful in this right. That's not just me. I you know, there is something operatic in the badness of his performance. It's just and I you know, it's one of the things where I, oh, what did I write in my notes? The Steiger ham is about to burst out of it. It's can I'm just waiting for it. Yeah, there's a point where you start to see the slow burn, it's not really very slow. Or, you know, right. Immediately after he has the the incident with the flies where he goes to visit the house, he can't the Lutz's aren't inside the house. And then he has a visitation from flies and something that smells Oh, and that's that's another thing that actually stuck with me. It stuck with me from the trailers, it stuck with me from the movies is the intonation of get out. It's not get out. It can Tao like the first syllable is get. And the last one was cow out. But it works. It works. Yeah. So and then actually another thing that I was really just getting down to little things that work in the movie, when he's in there, and the flies start swarming. At one point, it goes completely silent, completely silent, and then you hear the voice go get out, and then it starts to build back up again. And I thought that was a nice little touch. It's it's a pretty effective scene. But let's talk about this character because he plays a major part in the book and the movie and then I've got some some news at the end of this. We get the the phone calls full of static, right? Which I'm not sure exactly what is what is going on here. story wise, the evil follows him for whatever reason, just because why is it just because he had the balls to bring his religion into this place, and they're gonna make him suffer? Because that doesn't seem to be the case with anybody else. It's hard to say. Now, I watched the MGM DVD from like 16 years ago or whatever, but it also has a commentary on it by Hans Holzer, a paranormal investigator who actually investigated the real life Amityville case and it's it's very entertaining commentary because he goes through point by point as the movies running and points out the areas where okay, this is sort of the truth kind of maybe a little bit, but by 45 minutes into the movie to an hour, and it's an almost two hour long movie. He's basically like, this is bullshit. This bullshit. i This is Hollywood. This is bullshit. This is bullshit. It's like, and it's just, it's amusing because every little, you know, progressively more operatic plot twist. And he's like, ah, that's Hollywood. And I'm like, yes, indeed it is. Well, we're also given that scene towards the end of his storyline, the priests where he's in the church, the statue of Mary crumbles, and he goes in blah lined. Yeah, but the statue didn't crumble. And so to me I'm like, okay, was everything in his head was this whole thing just him going crazy. Coincidentally, it's a strange deviation in the story that seems it's a beast story that isn't. It doesn't connect to the story very much at all. Yeah, once he's gone, he never really communicates with her again, because it's always phone problem interference. I would not be surprised if it was some sort of weird budgetary limitation and they like we're doing something to edit around the fact that they couldn't get Steiger and Margot Kidder and James Brolin in the same room at the same time, it almost feels like that because you don't really see a lot of them together. Do you at all know except for the fact that that is part of the story in the actual book? I would think that this was a rewrite. Yeah, that had to be added in afterwards or something like that. Because it doesn't it just doesn't fit right we can get rod stagger in here. What's it going to do? We don't know we'll come up with some shit the the acting moments you're talking about the fly ones a little bit a little over the top but that final scene when the crumble and the yeah and it's like over the top and so big and so disconnected from anything going on in the house. It's not like they're flashed back into the house and the house is shaking and reacting to his prayers and if something's going on it's just all right here in his little world with him in the strange priests to start out as kind of a creepy guy on the phone for whatever friggin reason right and just follows him around but doesn't investigate anything. I'm not sure that Yeah, the whole priest element doesn't tie back into the house at all you say that and I would have loved it to go back to the house and heard that ghostly voice journaling or something through my notes and my one of my notes, it's just the ham is unleashed. Yes, Geiger is off the fucking chain. My favorite part and this is this is the scene where he actually is like, confessing this to the to superior priests, including Murray Hamilton, from fucking Jaws, basically being a doubting Thomas, although a more benign, Doubting Thomas and slightly less cynical than the one he plays in Jaws. But Steiger has one of the greatest lines in cinema history when he goes, I am not some cheap seminarian who doesn't know the difference between the supernatural and bad clam. Hi, I'm a paranormal inventor. I'm a psychological investigator, whatever the fuck and it's like, and Marie Hamilton is right up there. Like who do you think you are? And I'm just thinking, Oh my God, these guys you know, the fucking both Kansa ham have been opened up and they are unleashed. I almost see like the director in the background. You know, if it was done, now he'd go, we'll take it to 11 Or give me the Nicolas Cage. Thank you. Because he just goes from relatively calm to in like, two seconds, watts I can you were triggered. And then once it happened to trigger him, he goes into house, it smells a little and some flies collect on some shit, including on him, you know, which, you know, maybe you should be thinking about your hygiene if flies are drawn to you like that. I know. It's all supernatural. Ma'am. I'm out. But speaking of the flies, that you guys just come across the DPS problem with that scene. Yeah. It's terrified of flies. So he would have done the close ups of the flies. He shut his eyes just pointed the camera up. Oh, my God. Wow, love it. Oh, yeah. Well, you know, and that's the thing. I mean, not to be grouchy, old man. But this is this is something that CGI cannot do. CGI cannot truly reproduce. I mean, one of the things that's actually pretty impressive to me is that Steiger is emoting with like, progressively larger amounts of flies on him because he's actually got honey smeared on himself. And so and so you know, it's not the same if you have like, a CGI fly crawling on somebody's skin. If you have a real fly crawling on somebody. And you can see it's a real fly. It does make a difference, and it helps with the visceral impact of what you're seeing, I think, Oh, for sure. I was I was uncomfortable with a fly on my head. I was just like, Oh, God, I know, you know, and he's just sort of standing there and then he does that great. Rod Steiger. gluer where he like whips around he kind of looks over his shoulder and he's got like four or five flies clinging to one cheek and then you hear the buzzing and it's genuinely unsettling. It is one of the better scenes in the film for sure. So then when the the nun comes, which is their sister, and I think I knew that It was her sister, but it felt like it finally clicked for me that this was her sister and they weren't just calling her sister. Yeah, yeah, I think so too. Yes, she shows up gets very ill also drives wait. Now this is one of the very strong memories I have from being in the theater because she pulls over, and she opens the door and she vomits and some wisecracker in the back of the theater goes, she must have just eaten at McDonald's. Everybody just lost. I must say she curls well. I was like, I you know, I was watching it this time around. I was thinking, you know, that's a very convincing hurdle. Because sometimes you just get like, you know, you'll get an actor will just like cough, shear cough, and it's like, no, this person isn't ralphing. They're just coughing and she's like, she's got our gut into it. It's great. Do you think so at the opening scene, we get the shot of the police officer who's, who's there investigating the murders. And then we've got Rod Steiger here. It almost feels like they were thinking the exorcist. We need a we need a grizzled detective. And we need a priest to come in here to really nail home this, this satanic thing we got going on. And speaking of that, this was just prior to the Satanic Panic. But I can't help but think that maybe this kind of started the Satanic Panic because this was all over the news. There were multiple evenings were the you know, before was a movie, they were talking to the Lutz's, and all this stuff. And it really kind of put in our minds that you know, Satan was alive and well and living on planet Earth. That's an interesting point. And I think there's something to it. But I think that a lot of that is because of the I think a lot of it is because of the movie because the actual story on the holster the investigator who actually thinks that some weird things happen there, even though they were exaggerated in Hollywood fashion. I guess the story was that he was and he talked about this, like it was physics, like it was gravity, like it was science. He said that it was because you guessed it, the original house, the original side of the house was built on an Indian burial ground it was built on sacred land. And so when they moved the house like Pete brick by brick or board by board or whatever, to a different part of town, the haunting stopped it was that spot and he Holter asserted that George Lutz was possessed by the the ancient indigenous native American who was who reportedly died and wanted nobody on his on his sacred land. That was the story that they had, but the movie makes it the movie is like it I mean, you know, at one point Murray Hamilton's character, the father superior or whatever it says. Says and not once, have we ever heard that something like this was satanic, you know, so that's the first time you really hear the word satanic, but that plants it in your head for the rest of the movie. And obviously, there's no, there's no, you know, there's no reference to an Indian burial ground, which is something that I think is a hell yeah. Which is something that you guys of course, I think very cleverly, poltergeist the more I think about this movie in tandem with Poltergeist, it feels like poltergeist was a almost a self or a satire of the Amityville Horror in some ways that I think they learned. They learned from the operatic happiness and to straight straightforwardness of the Amityville Horror when they when they went in and made ma poltergeists. My, my dad famously calls bullshit on every Indian burial ground silly, because my dad's a full Haida Indian. And he's like, Listen, this entire planet is an Indian burial ground. At some point, there are dead people under your feet wherever you walk. So that's a load of bullshit. And when he told me that, it was like, you know, you have a point. Ah, so disappointing. We need more. I tell ya. Cathy Cathy's brother's engagement party. I didn't realize this was a thing. I think every time I've watched this in the past, I thought it was a wedding. And this time I spent a little more time or attention and found out it was an engagement party and engagement party that he has to pay $1,500 to the caterer for for it how you could buy a house for 80 grand or 100 grand was $1,500 for a caterer. That is such a strange scene. I'm like, this is the ghosts need cash or something. Why? What What? Is he a secret asshole? Yeah, it's just like, Oh, hey, what? What can I do? Oh, I know what I can do now. You know, it's one of the interesting I actually listened to just a few months ago. Coincidentally, I listened to a podcast, the faculty of horror, the one that's done by the by two of the women that are involved in runeword magazine, I think, Alex West and Andrea soup Assadi to great podcast, and they talked about the Amityville Horror in the context of being the ultimate real estate fear film, The Ultimate real estate horror film because basically, it's like, it's like a scarier, more demonic version of the money pit that old Tom Hanks movie, you know, the House does, you know, when the toilet is belching up. It's so funny because in the movie in the Amityville Horror, when the toilet is like belching up all this inky black goop, and it's just not stopping. Margot Kidder and Kathy Lutz is pretty nonplussed. She's annoyed, but it's not like she's, it's not like she's shooting out of bed and screaming. They shot her in the head. She does when she wakes up from one of her dreams. She's just like, Oh, damn it, it's spitting up, Inky, black, whatever. And that obviously could be not in the least bit satanic that could just be crappy pipes are pretty bad pipes and things going on. God knows what those people in that house are eating. There was oil. So oh, I mean, how value just went up. And like that, that stuff was so viscous and black, that any normal person would say, we should probably have this tested and see what's going on here. Call of a plumber, maybe, shall we get on it. So with that going on with the, with the money being going missing, and all of this stuff. I have had money go missing. And I've had bad shit happened to me and all this stuff. And I suppose that if, if I were a certain kind of person, and I were inclined to believe in this stuff, that maybe I would just start saying everything was, you know, the devil or something because we all need something to blame, right when things start going wrong. So with that in mind, I think we could look at some of the stuff in here and say, it does make me wonder why was this a part of the story? The $1,500? Yeah, it's Yeah, I mean, and that's, you know, it's it's funny because they think it's almost like this is, America is the ultimate and consumerist culture and the ultimate and capitalism. And this is our way of exploiting the worst fear that a privileged white movie Corp can misplacing 1500 bucks. Well, it's a strange it's used as a strange vehicle to because then he writes the check to the caterer, right. And then his business partner shows up later and saying, Well, your check hasn't gone through and you're not signing for all this stuff. Like, I gotta tell you, at this point, I don't really need reinforcement that he's losing his shit. I kind of get that, right. But and then, you know, it takes him out for a beer and everything seems okay, so it's like, what is what is going on here with this, another weird storyline tangent that I think the whole point of that was maybe getting him away from the influence at the house was all it took for him to kind of snap out of it. The real horror in this film was I had forgotten that he owns a surveying company. And I was a property land surveyor for 20 years, two years and and, and I was near suicidal at the end of it, I hated it. So that was, that was a triggering moment for me. They're not paying pay, it's pretty cool. You know, the other thing that I found very interesting, which again, is something that totally went over my head is Am I the only one who saw some strong homoerotic tension between George and his business partner? I think there's a lot I didn't see that but it's because there's because when they first when they first meet up, there's all these there's all these little there's all these little implications. I mean, there's the way that that that the actor you know, Michael, Michael sax looks at at George's character at Berlin's character. You know, I mean, it just feels like there's you know, at one point they they meet at a bar and I guess George is late and you know, the Jeff that Michael sacks character looks up and is like, I thought I might be stood up another point and then at the other point in this gets back to the whole consumerism thing, but mixed with the homoeroticism. There's a scene where where Jeff comes over, and he's trying to get he's trying to get George Lutz to sign the checks because he's the business owner. He's you know, you need to sign the check. Next, we haven't paid our guys yet. Oh, and by the way, some caterer is all pissed off, because you wrote a check for $1,500 that you fucking bounced. And then George has like, you know, he at this point in time, he's not bathing. So he's got like, armpit armpit rings and his and he's been wearing the same goddamn gray sweatshirt for the whole, you know, up until this point and all the way in through the rest of the movie. And then at one point, George is like, well tell me some good news. And then and then Jeff his business partners like well, I got you the spotlight for your boat. And then George all of a sudden like lights up isn't really working Emirates thing comes back, giving me a thing, an item. And then at that point, Jess character looks at him, he goes, I'll install it for you. And the energy in between these two between these two guys, I'm I'm sorry. It's there. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course. But it's there. Tony, you have convinced me I wasn't seeing this. Clearly, this is where you're watching the damn movie five times. relatively rapid. I think that it definitely straddles the line between homoerotic and super homoerotic. Yeah. And it's also an interesting because it's the only this is I'm going to go off on a total movie nerd side tangent for about two minutes. Got you. Michael sacks. The only other significant role I know that Michael sacks played is he's the lead in Georgia Ray Hills film version of Slaughterhouse Five. He plays Billy Pilgrim and he works really well in that movie, because there's this kind of placid everyman cipher quality to him in that movie. And here, it's it's interesting because he feels he feels very awkward and clunky. And I'm like, it really reflects how much he worked. How much his every man, almost blandness really worked well for the character of Billy Pilgrim, who was, you know, time hopping and sort of more observing what's happening in his life than an active participant in it. And then, you know, trying to play a guy who is an active participant in his life, or specifically in his and George Lutz's life, apparently like Brokeback Amityville or something. I'm sure that will be produced very shortly, but yeah, there we go. Oh, my No, there's no copyright, you can make Amityville anything. My family moved into their new home in Amityville, Long Island. It ended 28 days later when they fled the house in terror. During that time, in the nightmare of evil, a plague of unnatural, inexplicable and horrifying events, which began when their five year old daughter posted of a sinister new playmate. The Amityville Horror, more terrifying than the exorcist because it actually happened. Read it now in pen paperback. Let's talk about God. The malevolent malevolent pig demon who is apparently also supposed to be the ghost of one of the DeFeo girls, you know, shelter a half a dozen views. I am no fucking closer to understanding that entire arc slash subplot. When I was when I was 12 years old, I it just it's it's no clearer now than it was then there's it's so model and I mean, that's, you know, it gets back to the whole thing. This is a 1979 state of the art amusement park ride, you know, and so you get it and then But then it's also got these like it's interspersed with all these great like cheesy made for TV bits, you know, like the whole like car crash scene or the whole almost car crash scene when the hood flips up on the car that you know that Father You know, Delaney, you know, Rod staggers characters being shuttled around by by the Don Stroud character, the other Reverend like absent slashed abusive parenting, because they really go out. They kind of go out of their way to kind of show how the dysfunction is going. I mean, there's one point where the little girl is sitting outside the house underneath a window while her brothers are dangling a spider. And she's talking, she's basically talking she's role playing with her dolls. And she's like, Don't be a smartass. And she's like really tearing into him. She's like, berating them that same way that James Brolin that George was berating them. You know, I mean, every every third sentence that George Lutz's character utters at those children is goddamnit. Well, I think though, to show the influence of the house, because when we first see him, he's given a real I'll save the cat moment where he's talking about, you know, it'd be nice if they referred to me as dad and all that stuff and he wants to be loved. And I think we're supposed to see that he is changing very quickly. Remember, all this stuff is happening within a span of weeks. 28 days total. So, you know, all the stuff we've already talked about. Was that 14 days maybe. So we're seeing a lot of shit go on here. And it seems like there should be time between all of this stuff, but there is. There can't be according to this story. Well, yeah, you know, and I mean, as is it, it pulls a cardinal sin, in my mind of most horror movies, which is it's almost two goddamn hours long and it doesn't need to be too goddamn hours long. Yeah. And even with that, even with that in mind, the lack of the lack of characterization feels super rushed. I mean, it's like staggers character goes from like, zero to 1000 after smelling something that doesn't smell good, and you know, having some flies bugging his ass, right? And then he's like, he's instantly at this operatic like Italian horror, movie level happiness. It's amazing. Okay, but it feels that way. Because like you said, a couple of weeks are supposed to have gone by. And, you know, I would take the position that I think, I think George Lutz is kind of a prick from the outset. He's just, he, I just, he just strikes me as kind of a dickhead right from the get go. And I don't see him. I mean, yes, he wants love. But I also see that almost that could be like a self absorbed, you know, like, manipulative needing of gratification of having these these kids. These kids, like, respect slash worship of Him. That's a good point. I mean, my dad was a was a grumpy, strict kind of guy, who, you know, gave love, but was also he was the person I was scared of in the house, you know? Mom said, No, I'd wind my way until she said, Yes. If dad said, No, that was it. Now and so maybe, maybe I'm looking at this guy and projecting my dad onto him who I know is indeed a good person. But But, but probably, you know, yelled at me much the same way that George yelled at those kids. Yeah. Yeah. Well, one of the things that I thought was interesting is I really it really, it's interesting watching this through the frame watching this movie through the frame of 21st century sensibilities because as I'm watching it, I'm thinking you know, the Lutz's you know, what happens when they move out of this evil house, but into another house. And George goes back to punching on his wife, then you can say this house is haunted to it's making me do it. It's making me not kit at the moment, Alice or whatever, I really, it's really, I think that it's, you can actually view the movie. And you kind of get back to what you were saying about it being a psychological thing and about is this, you know, is a key amount of this happening in the character of Rod Steiger, the priests head, I'm thinking how much of this is happening in the head of George Lutz. How, you know, is this you know, as has this living in this house has it sort of subliminally, you know, tickled this impulse and, and, and, and this is his psyche, finding a way to rationalize and justify him, you know, smacking his wife around and like, verbally, if not physically abusing and berating the kids. You can look at it from that whole angle. It's a good point, you're giving the movie a lot of credit. I know. And this is based off that much about the movie I think it probably would have been Yeah, but it's better than I wasn't thinking of it in terms of this is this is how intelligent it's being I was thinking in terms of this is this is doled out with like TV movie, benign flatness, you know. And so it's so it's not like there's there's no this is the way things were back then. You know, you slapped your woman around to get her in line. You know, that's that's 1979 movie mentality. And and so the fact that he's like this kind of abusive bastard I think, Well, so is his friend. Yeah. Oh, God, totally. There's a bar where he just borates his wife like Jesus. Oh, god. Yeah, actually. Yeah, I actually, he's got one key line that he that he belts out that was like that, like, I was like, Oh, my dad, and his girlfriend slash wife is played by Helen shaver, who is a Canadian actress that I've always had a soft spot for. I've seen her in a lot of stuff. She's a trooper. I think she's a really good actress. I actually think she gives a better performance and then than Margot Kidder does. I would agree. Yeah. Yeah, she's, she's good. She's not in a much but what she does, she does really well. Exactly. And yeah, there's some scene there's one scene where Michael sacks his character is Like, you know, you sound like some psycho weirdo when she's, you know, elaborating on what could possibly be going on and then at one point he just yells at her. Thank you very much for your cosmic views Now do me a favor and shut up. And I'm like, and then they just keep going on it's and BD no big deal, you know? Wow. Yep. Yep. Things has changed. I find reading there. I think you nailed it. Oh my god. Yeah. And it's what's interesting. I wonder how I wonder how much this movie is because I see Italian horror cinema and everything. I wonder how much this movie influenced and was influenced by Italian cinema because there's, there's aspects like the score, the the opening theme with that child, blah, blah, blah. Lying is very sounds very goblin sounds like you know, very Suspiria and then you have the absolutely over the top acting. I mean, you know, staggers performance really belongs in like gluteal fold. She's actually speaking with Helen shaver. She's all psychic and shit. And she's talking about the house being built on special land. And I've kept on thinking as I'm watching her do this and her voice starts changing. At one point she was just talking like an orc that's gargled acid or whatever. And then she and then she I'm sitting there watching her doing this and hearing her do this and thinking, this is so Catriona MacColl, this is like this is like her character. This is getting deep dive in cinema, who she is. She's like the leading lady in city of the living dead, the beyond very expressive face, and very much, she's always playing the psychically sensitive women and Helen shaver is playing that role only in a mainstream Hollywood movie. Now this is before most of full cheese, like Baskin six. So maybe this character was an influence on Italian cinema. Who knows? That's an interesting thought, because this did very, very well overseas. I'm not surprised. So why is it a big deal that George Lutz looks like Ronald to fail? I'm not entirely certain other than it gives the bartender a nice liner too. And I was like, okay, he does. And in real life, he does look a little bit like him also, because every man with shaggy hair and a big beard looks like each other. Yeah, it's like, it's the 21st century. It's like the equivalent of the hipster in the 21st century with his beard and his, ya know, his sister. I'm trying to figure out why this is even a thing. What Why Does anyone care that he looks like him? And they make a big deal out of it, especially when she finds a newspaper. Picture of, obviously, James Brolin. Boy, it looks just like him. Yeah, he really does. I don't know I cuz it's a weird Association, because how much does she learn about what that family did before that? I mean, it's just, I don't know, I don't see purpose. Well, and then well, you know, the purpose is that it gives another excuse for a for a random, you know, curve in the amusement park ride where George Lutz is digging into one of the walls with a pickaxe and by the time he digs into it, through the open hole, he sees a sill he sees super imposition of what looks like his face, right? But not quite. It's not quite his face. And the reason why and this is in the documentary on the DVD is that it's James Berlin's brother. Yeah, I saw that. And I'm like, nice, because they wanted to make it look like killer but exactly identical. But why to what I guess is there is no reason for it. Ronald Fayose the one who lived out of all those people Why would his spirit somehow be it? It just makes no fucking sense. Say the haunting spirit is a rustic old Eimear guy cover big beard all that stuff so he's the one it's not let's it looks like the fail it's lesson to fail look like the spirit should all be scared of. Speaking of that, that tearing into the wall thing I thought the dog digging at the wall was super effective. Yeah. It's pause trying to get to what was whatever was in there. I thought it was a really foreshadowing to what happens the babysitter later? Of course. Right, right. It's not exactly. elegantly and subtly delivered, but it's foreshadowing that is a really solid scene in that girl. That actress is fucking given her All right, yeah, yeah, I was freaked out during that when they kind of react like, well, it's no big deal. I mean, the kid Why didn't you let her out? Like, this girl over here is freaking the fuck out. Maybe, maybe something actually happened. You might consider something's wrong with your door. At least. Like that is not a child acting like I just want to have some fun with the lessons. You know? I think you know again, if we if we want to If we want to attribute a layer that this movie probably shouldn't get credit for to it. I found that the babysitter character Yes, she brings it in terms of the terror and the fear and she's also every bit as dismissive and borderline abusive to the kids. Oh, yeah, definitely the adults so she's like, right in there, you know? Don't you back talk me? And I'm like, Oh, God, God bless America. Or baby lotion. It's Yeah, exactly. It is east coast. You guys that's that's true. I'm back in Northwest guy so I'm not accustomed to. And my mother was a saint. She never yelled at me like that's a humble brag. That's what I'm humble bragging about then. Well done. Yeah, there we go. Hi, mom. You're the greatest so they took me to this movie by the way. My mom told me she free shit horror movie that I begged her to take me to. Because she was at home with to snot nose board as kids and she had to do something. So I drag her to a fucking horror movie. And then like she'd come out of it shaking her head going, Anthony, I can't believe you made me sit through that. And then a week later, I'd ever sit in a theater watching the fucking incredible melting man. The cycle would begin but I diverge. I would say that my mom was that way too in that she was actually into scary movies and scary books. So we had Stephen King books and stuff in the house and so so it was no surprise to find this book in our house. Okay, so they break down the wall they find out they have a well to hell in their basement. And there's a t shirt there Amityville Horror. Well to hell isn't that what the hippie girlfriend calls it? Yeah. And then, you know one night all hell breaks loose the wall start bleeding for some reason. And the stairs. Yeah, everyone is under attack. And that is their their 28th day they escape. I thought there was a real nice redemption moment for George when he goes back for Harry. And Harry gets old. You know, Harry is obviously learned by example, and is a very big dick at first. decides Fuck you, I'm gonna put my things in your asset and then he's like, Oh, wait, do trying to save me. Okay, let's go. I got the feeling that he just didn't recognize George and it seemed like I mean, arguably, the dog smells George George has been more aware of the same shit. And a dog has a profound pronounced sense of smell so fucking knows who George Lutz is I don't buy that for an instant. I'm just selected black ooze that he's covered with, like completely masks all smell even to the you know, super hypersense focused dog smell. I'm just saying that there did seem to be a moment I look on the dog's face where he suddenly realized oh, it's George. Yeah. Now maybe he was just acting but I would say then that he is a very good actor. I definitely exceeds the Rod Steiger performance by leaps and bounds with that one moment. I hear you man I hear hear he gave a very subtle performance. Nuance. Then they take off and everything. Okay, so big question. Do we even like this movie? I found it. I found it fascinating and highly entertaining. And I And what was interesting is watching it and contrasting my reactions to it as a 12 year old with my reactions as a middle aged dude watching it, which is that I can see why. On some, like superficial goofball level that actually worked and scared me as a kid. And I think it gets back to that sort of implied verse similitude that you get from the from that whole made for TV bad reenactment feel that the movie has? I wrote you know, it was like it was like watching an episode of In search of only the the crappy reenactments are populated by like Oscar winning actors and shit. So it's very surreal, you know, which is something that goes right over your head as a kid. But the thing that didn't go over my head is that it felt very, it felt like I was watching a reenactment from in search of and so for me, that was a little bit freaky. It's like okay, maybe no matter how goofily This is depicted, it's depicting something that really happened. That's a so that take would have helped enjoy the film more I found I really want to go in because I had a weird experience watching The Exorcist for the first time I watched it freaked me the hell out second time I watched it board the shit out of me. And then the third time I watched it, it worked fantastic. So it was like really strange. So I'm going maybe that will happen with this one because we talked about this years ago when our very early version of the podcast. And I was like, well, maybe I'll like it more this time. Nope. It is. It would be helped greatly by 30 minute trim. Oh totally and a few other half siblings but it's still ultimate ultimately with it starts up and it dives right into rods scene you know it. It begins with a bang, literally. But then the first kind of big scene happens fairly quickly. Where the first big horror scene happens and I'm one okay, maybe it's good. No, this is it. This is boring is the problem there's not really Abby is definitely flabby not give you that bad in the way and Italian movie can be very entertaining bad. And certainly not bad enough to be a Bruna. Matej level amusing. And it's not. But it's not good enough to be an omen or an extra like that. Yeah, it sits in that rough bad world of the worst things films can be which is boring. I think for for me, I agree. There's the middle section just sags absurdly, but as I as I screw, you know, shot through it. Fourth and fifth time, because I am an ex Catholic. So please, I will I will put myself this is probably why I'm a horror fan is because I'm a fucking masochistic ex Catholic. But as I'm watching it, I realized that there are there are peaks in the movie, there are definite peaks in the movie. And so for me, it became a glass half full thing. Yes, this is flabby as hell, but oh my god, the ham has been on canned, there are some there are definitely some good moments. Yeah. If you were to watch viewer to condense and go, Hey, here's the 25 minutes of really good scenes, you get the priest in the house, you get the psychic in the basement, you get the kids crashing hands is kind of a disturbing scene, you take all those best moments and you built like a 3045 minute thing. And he is well this is what the movie is like, Oh, this looks like a really good creepy horror film. But then you drop in that missing 45 minutes to an hour. And actually, the other thing that the other thing that I think dampens it considerably is that it is that benign, flat, literal TV look that the movie has. Yeah, overall, I think that that really dampens it. Because you think about you know, one of the other things that happened that I was thinking about a lot as I watched it is I was thinking about the changeling, which is like a year after this movie, and that is one of the best. Yeah, that is not just one of the best horror movies of the 80s is one of the best movies of the 80s Fantastic. It's just a brilliant movie. And part of it is because it narrows the focus, and it lets an awful lot of what happens. It's not delivered through dialogue and exposition. The way that this movie delivers shit with dialogue and exposition. It narrows the focus on one character and it lets you see how that character proceeds through the the uncanny things that begin happening in this house that he's living lacks the cinematic moments. Yeah, when you talk about being a flat TV movie it lacks the cinematic moments of the Forgot she's a babysitter or whatever and the woman this is all for you. You've got shots or the scenes in The Exorcist with the pre showing you see it's in the poster, it's and everything you do is an iconic and there's this shot and then the red ball in the challenge. And it doesn't have anything cinematic like that screams for that. And that's, you know, it's interesting to think about that because we're also talking about American International pictures at the time. I mean, this is a movie that had relatively a list actors but also it was American International pictures right before they became film ways and white right before they completely died out. And it Sam archives behind it. This is the guy who like put his production muscle behind like attack of the crab monsters. He's coming from that aesthetic, so and we can do it for less. Right, exactly, you know, so he's coming from that aesthetic. And also, like you had noted at the outset, which I actually didn't know, it was intended as a TV movie. And it's just you know, I mean, the the one scene one of the scenes that I really that is really effective. I mean, it's a cop out because it's another fucking dream sequence but there's the sequence where Kathy runs into a room into like the girl's bedroom, she runs into Amy's bedroom and she sees George standing over her with an axe. Everything's bloody the kids staring wide eyed and kiter Cathy let's start screaming and then you see the axe coming down on her hair just as it's starting to split and then boom she wakes up that that slapped me upside the head that was a very viscerally affected that was like a Grindhouse effective scene and if the movie you know if you're if you're gonna make it a flat bland as TV movie, give me some moments like that that are going to club me upside the head, you know? that are really going to I mean, it's you know makes me think of like moments like that and the New York River which I think is another cheese which is Italian movie but it's another movie that shot with almost a TV made for TV flatness. Yeah, until you get to like the gore scenes. And then it's like the gloves are off. This movie could have used more moments like that. I think they definitely were going for and put together I mean, you go through the list of people that were offered Berlin's role and it's fairly significant Yeah, a list actors at the time and Margo was right off a Superman. So do you had they were they were looking to do something bigger than I think they ended up being able to make? But yeah, there's another interesting thing and actually, my girlfriend pointed this out as we were watching it. Kathy Lutz's character and Margot Kidder in general in this movie is she's very infantilized in places the way she looks. She's got the pig tails. Yeah, at one point she's dressed in what looks like a Japanese schoolgirl outfit. Yeah, and you know, this, this is not this is a I find a very charming woman, but they're like, they're like, making her not grown up. And it's like, it's good point. Why, you know, if you want an ingenue, caston ingenue, you know, and I've always loved Margot Kidder. I think she's a great actor. And there are flashes of good work from her in this movie, but it's so disjointed, and it's so patchy, you know, and there are so many times when the actors are called on, you know, or maybe they just decide to take it upon themselves to like, be fucking ham on MRI, big time. That it that it kind of offsets some of the, like, really organic reactions that she gives to some of the stuff that's going on, where she doesn't like the movie. Oh, yeah. Not one of her good role. She hated rollin. I mean, it's, you know, they're very, and again on the documentary that's on the DVD. They're very diplomatic as they talk about it. But it's obvious that Brolin was a guy who was at the tail end of the studio system, and he was, I'm gonna learn my lines, I'm going to do everything exactly, point by point, as the director and the screenwriter have come to a consensus, I'm going to do this and then she would breeze in and she'd be wanting to improvise, she'd be wanting to be the free spirit she'd like, I just like to, you know, go where ever the roll takes me wherever I feel I need to go you know, that sort of that sort of philosophy. And so when you get like this, you know, hardline old school guy, and that's the other thing, there is no romantic chemistry between these two, Zero. Zilch, and there's one point where she's like doing stretches, and she's in like, this neglige A, and it's just barely concealing the all together. And you're like, wow, and he's, and he's like, basically, he's treating her like, she's, you know, like, like, he's a, you know, a Grand Central Station. You know, the fucking train terminal guy announcing the schedule. He's bored as fuck, by this rather attractive woman wearing almost nothing and coming on to him in a big way. Oh, God. And can we talk about the, the, the not quite measuring up, seeing that happens? I need Viagra in my life. Yeah, exactly. It happens to everybody. Not to me that well, you know, that's whatever the guy says in the movie. That's another thing. Of course, I've 12 years old that totally went over my head. You know, when I saw it, but this time I'm watching. I'm like, wow, that's kind of brutal. Yeah. And it goes to feed into why you've got this whole cesspool of dysfunction going on could because he's coming from a psychological as well as a sexually stunted standpoint. So the next people moved into the house. Change the gym and Barbara Cromarty bought the house for $55,000 in March of 77, Oh, wow. They rejected all claims of the locks, the doors, the windows being broken. I mean, that whole claim of the door being blown out and everything they're like, this is clearly the door that has been here the entire time. This house has been built and it is still here. They also said that the red room was a small closet in the basement and would have been known to the previous owners of the house because it was not concealed in any way. And then the claim that the house was built on a site where the Shinnecock Indians had once abandoned the mentally ill was rejected outright by the Shinnecock tribe. Oh shit, and they said no, then that was never now now you're getting into what I was saying at the very beginning. Oh, what? This movie devastated me as a kid because I was all in on Oh, man, it's real. I gotta see this. I gotta find out what's gonna happen. And the lots that appeared I think on the Today Show or the morning, whatever, at that time. So I'm like, I've got to watch this. And they don't outright say It's BS because I think partially because they were under lawsuit consideration at the time. But they basically say, we made it all up, right. And I remember watching it just being devastated. was like what? You guys Larry's No. Applause God damn. Yes, exactly. Well, Eric, I told you the first year I went to that horrifying convention over on the east coast, George Lutz was a speaker there. And I was like, how cool so I went sat in the panel, it was packed. And he he basically came out and said, Look, a few weird things happen there. But you know, we made the whole thing up. And and then you know, at the end of it, any questions, all these hands shoot up. So the well to hell? How big was that and this stuff, and he he was just kind of it felt like that William Shatner, Saturday Night Lives. Just looking at the guy going. There was no well to hell. And oh, all right. And then the next question was something about, you know, the haunting and I was like, These people do not want to hear that. This is not real. Oh, yeah. There's a lot of that around this movie. There's a lot of No, no, it definitely happened. It's like, yeah, I've got some other info here. No Neighbors reported anything unusual during the time that the Lutz's were living there. Police officers are depicted visiting the house in the book and the film, but the record showed that the lessons did not call the police during the period that they were living there. And the letters went on to live a relatively normal life afterwards. They divorced in the late 80s. Cathy died of emphysema in 2004. And George died of heart disease in 2006. I've ever got a little bit along those lines, too, with the lawsuit, did you? Well, yeah, I've got some other stuff in here. Did you know that Ronald DeFeo died in March of 2021. Know that while we were all thinking about other things? Yeah. Yeah, I've got some really interesting stuff from him here. So his story of hearing voices was pretty much bullshit. And it was built on what his lawyer was telling him to do claim that the voices were in his head and the two of them would become very wealthy from book deals and such. His lawyer was William Weaver, who would then go on to admit that he George and Kathy Lutz concocted the whole story over several bottles of wine. So up so defense lawyer is the lawyer that sits down with George and Kathy Lutz and comes up with these this entire story. Then they're getting sued. Because now he's suing the Lutz's because for breach contract when they decided to go with J Anson, instead of the writer he had lined up for this, so probably could have milk this for a lot more the Lutz's made very little money off of this whole thing out of the whole Amityville Horror franchise I think that I read something like they might have made $300,000 Out of everything Wow. Could prop their house many decades you know, well, and towards the end there George Lutz tried to copyright the the Amityville Horror name, but because like I said, because it's, you know, a matter of public record. That's why you're not seeing Amityville Horror 13. The shark Amityville, you're just seeing Amityville shark because you can't copyright the name of a town reveal in the hood right there. I've got some some cool information though here that I dug up. So apparently, the the detective on the scene testified that he believed that there were two killers, because it's not just one gun that was used in these murders. Oh, so you're talking about the actual Yeah. So two guns were used and that he thought that that would explain why the killer would have had time to kill everybody before waking them up. Instead of going from room to room in this gigantic house and nobody waking up. This then gets into some crazy stuff. Now we can just use your I'm sorry to interrupt. But are you sure you don't want to save this for the episode anatomy? They'll do? Well, I was, you know, talk about that then too. But I thought this was so interesting, because it really goes to show the fail. Obviously, some mental issues there. I think if you can tell your entire family we can go out on a limb and say you're crazy in some way. In 86, he changed his story and claimed that his sister Don killed their father. And then their distraught mother killed all of the siblings before he killed his mom. Why he says that he took the blame because he was afraid to say anything negative about his mother to her father and his father's uncle out of fear that they would kill him. His father's uncle being Peter to fail, who was a capital regime and the Genovese crime family. This is bar Yes. Also that's that's 86 right in 1990 to fail asserted that Don and an unknown assailant who fled the house before he could get a good look at him killed their parents and And Don subsequently killed their siblings. He said the only person he killed was Don and that it was by accident as they struggled over the rifle. Then in 2000, he claimed that he had committed the murders with his sister Don and two friends out of desperation because his parents had plotted to kill him to fail claim that he and his sister plan to kill their parents, but then Don murdered the children in order to eliminate them as witnesses. He said that he was enraged on discovering assisters actions, knocked her unconscious onto the bed and shot her in the head. Police found traces of unburned gunpowder on Don's nightgown, which to fail proponents alleged proves that she discharged a firearm. So wow, yeah, some weird, crazy stories. The judge and all of these has basically said, I don't buy it. But there's one really interesting thing here in 2001, a judge unsealed the remainder of the Wieber versus let's court files and what was unsealed was the simple affirmation of the Catholic priests played by rastegar who testified under oath that the events described in Janssens book never ever transpired. So, a couple of weird notes that are movie related, I mean, really weird. How about this one? Elsa Raven, the real estate agent? Yes, her first film was the honeymoon killers. Oh, wow. So she got to work with Martin Scorsese for one week. Because he shot one week on that site. Somebody else and then two other directors finished it off. Yeah. That's an interesting one. Or J. Anson, the writer of the novel also wrote a series of movement called moviemaking, which were basically promotional material for films in the 60s and early 70s. like eight or 10 minute little pieces. He did one for all over the Greenbrae and Triple X movie Lolly Madonna. Oh my. What else weird shit happened? The OG did not realize this as reading it that it was not shot in the Amityville house. No, not always because they wouldn't let him sit. He wouldn't let him shoot that and also, I at least Hans Holzer in the commentary says that it wasn't photogenic enough. Ask wasn't nice. And and photogenic enough for them to actually use. So they had to basically, you know, the I forget if it was a different house, or if they just built it from whole cloth, but Right. Yeah, I would imagine that I mean, houses were smaller. Absolutely. In the 760s and 70s. There was much smaller footprints when I was looking up the sales history of this, the houses on Zillow. You can you can really look through all the pictures on it, and it's, it's a big, beautiful house, man. It is cool looking out. Sure you can do a lot of work when you buy that house. Sure, make sure it does not look like a rundown house. So I have a couple of little bits of trivia about some of the actors that are in the movie that I we haven't really touched on if you guys are about to Italian horror movies, and unfortunately, no Italian or credit. Natasha, Natasha Ryan, the little girl who plays Amy Alexis daughter, was actually kind of a go to kid in peril in the 70s. She was a regular on the Days of Our Lives soap opera for quite a few years. And she is the kid in peril in Kingdom of the spiders who was rescued by William Shatner. He is wow. And one of the lots boys is played by a child actor named meno pallucci, who also was kind of Italian. Yes, it does. Although he's an American Italian kid, if I believe it's pronounced me no Bellucci, I would not be surprised. And he was actually in the TV series, the brief TV series version of the bad news bears. Oh, and he was also the second he was the lead opposite John Eric Hexam in the TV series, and I forget the name of the TV series that the two of them were working on as time travelers. When during one of the onset days. Hexham put a gun to his head joking around and pulled the trigger because oh, look, this is this. There's there's no bullets in this and then of course, it was something like times. Oh, he was the kid was accused as a character that was opposite John Eric hexans character and I think they had only shot like an episode or two before Hexam had that horrible accident. But yeah, you know, pallucci One of the lights kids in the movie. I don't know if he was there when John Eric Hexam killed himself by accident, but little bit of little footnote in movie trivia history for you, guys. I've got one little piece here. James Brolin took less money up front, but with the promise of 10% of all gross sales after its release, oh, yeah, after the movie became an unexpected blockbuster, he eventually received about $17 million if adjusted for inflation that will be equivalent to a little over $55 million for his nice job well and weighed he didn't want to take the movie. He thought it was, you know, a load of bullshit, basically came right out and said, you know, he met with George and Kathy and everything. And afterwards, he was like, they seem very nice. But this is a load of bullshit. Yeah, he talks in the in the documentary that's on the DVD. He talks about how let's was, he was like, Yeah, you know, George Lutz was a great salesman, he could have sold you sand. And that's his. That's his very diplomatic way of saying, Yeah, this guy, this guy. This guy is charming, but he's foolish. It came out after a little while later, after the movie was done and tried to say that he had, he wasn't able to get any jobs for like two years because his character was so mean. But he actually had neither the juggler 1980 So high risk and 1981 and two made for TV movies in the two years following so he had no problem getting hired. Yeah, I mean, that guy is is one good looking piece of man meat. Yes. Except for all the you know, the no sleep and the freezing look and everything that he's got going on in this but when the lack of aging Yeah, first meet him though. I'm just like, boy, that is a man right there. Yeah. He's like, whatever. He's like, everyone. Everybody wants God to look like glowing beard. Perfectly handsome, dude. Yeah, I you know, it's it's funny because his his grouchy deadpan performance actually works in favor of the character most of the time, I think. And there's a guy united the juggler. Man, that's so good. really underrated. I haven't seen that in age. I love that movie I just saw recently for the first time and it is really, really good. Nice. Okay, so we're winding up. Tony, tell us what you got going on. You've got another podcast that you do. Right. I work with three good friends of mine on a podcast called city of geek. And we just recently did our first episode and almost two years. I also have something on the back burner that I'm hoping to move to the front burner very soon that I may receive some moral and technical assistance from somebody at this table, which I'm looking forward to. But I don't want to talk too much about that, because I feel like it's jinxing myself if I do. But yeah, artists home.org. I cover Northwest music, and I love getting on the bully pulpit for local bands and artists and the sunbrite.com I get to write about new movies most of the time. And I try to again, do an emphasis on Pacific Northwest films and filmmakers. And also, if you do come out to crypto con, you'll probably see Tony interviewing some of the larger the bigger guests pleasing interviews that were really really good. Thank you. I love doing it. And I you know, spending 45 minutes of undivided time talking to a childhood hero or a childhood rash. What's not to like about that a roomful of people who are totally into the same thing. Yes, that's one of the things many things I love about crypto con is it's it's brought us together and it enables me to do that every year. Erica, talk a little bit about crypto con for the people who don't know what he's talking about. Yeah, it's a horror convention here in Seattle. And con Seattle. Look at that. It happens at the end of May. And it's down at the DoubleTree SeaTac. So if you fly in, just walk across the street and you're there. And Eric, you run the film festival, film festival there at this point, still going through the submissions. We're closing in on the most submissions we've ever received. I'm looking forward to seeing what comes together from it. Yeah, me too. And of course, if you're here, you're either a huge fan of the Amityville Horror, and you found us that way or you are falling Eric and I over from our regular podcasts of strange aeons radio so that you can find us there every week, this podcast is going to be less structured than that. As far as the time goes, I think that this will probably come out once a month maybe. Because, you know, we watch a lot of movies for that podcast, and these movies aren't are going to get less pleasant to watch as we continue on. feel like we need to watch an Amityville movie a week and crank up our cheese abilities more. But that's it then I really really want to thank everybody who listened and please you know, reach out if you like this. Let us know how he felt about it. And we'll be back you know, you'll we'll let you know when the next episode is coming out. Don't worry. Tony, thank you so much. for joining us, yes, as always, gentlemen, an absolute pleasure and an honor to bullshit over cinema with the two. I will get you back. I want to make this something where we have, you know, a different guest every week, but it doesn't have to be like, we'll never see you again. We'll get you back for another one of these. And probably for more than you want. Being honest. I don't know if we, you know, I'm bummed that I'll be missing out on the Amityville to podcast, because that's actually probably my favorite Amityville movie. I think it's it's really no better quality wise than any of the others, but I think it has a blunt force efficacy that that works. And also, speaking of crypto con many years ago, one of my first interviews of cryptic con was Diane Franklin, the leading lady from Amityville. But anyways, that is that is for another episode that is for another rotating guest and I will be listening rapidly to that episode. Thank you very much. All right, everybody. We'll see you next episode. Ciao. Yeah. Transportation other considerations for strange aeons radio produced by Pan an airline. When you think of traveling think of pan and you can't think the experience. Yes, the strange aeons radio stay at econo lodge ever. It's an easy stop on the road. You know, strange aeons radio is recorded live in front of a studio audience. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving us a positive review on your favorite podcast app. Sit Google set