Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Outing - 1987

Also known as The Lamp, this movie reminded me a lot of The Chill Factor, which I saw a long time ago.  It's interesting it reminded me of that, cause they essentially have nothing in common.  I mean, I guess they're both horror movies that were independently made and produced.  They also both involve people who at one point or another get possessed by a demon.  But I did like The Chill Factor, and I also did like this movie, The Outing.

The Outing is a genuine 80's flick, and I watched it in next-to-worst quality on YouTube just now.  Watching this took me back to when I was getting a bigger kick out of watching these types of things for the first time, and it really made me revisit my opinion that the 80's were simply the best decade for horror, hands down.  I think it was a mix of stepping over the line in terms of body count, yet keeping the films minimal in scope, and the zany electronic music and shitty effects really appeal to the kid in us that squeals when we see a puppet, or a string on an actor.

The Outing aka The Lamp is the usual twist on an old favorite.  We all know the story of the good genie coming out of the lamp and granting three wishes.  This time the genie comes out of the lamp and kills everyone in sight.  A group of house robbers rob an old woman, and find the lamp.  They release the genie inside, and it quickly takes over the body of the old woman and kills everyone.  Soon, the lamp is in the hands of a single dad and his daughter, because he works in a museum and the lamp is from 3500 BC.

The girl and her friends are thinking about staying overnight in the museum, just for kicks, you know?  The genie is released, and takes over the body of main girl Alex.  Evil Alex then gets the plans together to get all the friends to follow through on the plan of staying at the museum where the lamp is.  They stay, the genie starts knocking people off, and also a couple of local bullies have sneaked into the museum to inflict their own torture on the group of good guys.

This movie was really a lot of fun.  I'm trying to quantify why, and there's the usual reasons.  Number one, pacing.  Like 10 people die in this, spaced apart enough to keep you watching.  Minimal approach, not too much dialogue, but enough character development to where these aren't just "Character A and B" you're watching on the screen.  They actually take the time to make the main girl and her dad likable.  The bullies are the weakest, as they seem TOO evil, but when that's the biggest gripe, whatever.

The group of good guys are three sets of couples.  They're not given tons of development beyond Alex and her boyfriend, but the other couples are some easy cannon fodder, and they also give us a little bit of nudity.  The bullies are given time to be evil, but like I said their motivation is thin, and they leap from minor assholes to actually trying to kill someone and then raping a girl.  That escalated quickly.

The poster was funny too, I like it cause it has almost nothing at all to do with the movie:
Why are the characters drawings also?  That's such a 80's thing.  Why not just have pictures of them?  It's so cool though, I love that someone actually spent time making this poster.  I also love the swamp there.  I don't know if you'll be "surprised" but I don't think there's a single swamp in the entire movie.

In all, this is a good science fiction horror fantasy film, it's got plenty of bodies and practical effects, it's got plenty of laughable mistakes and clothes, and it would be a fantastic entry level non-known 80's horror.  It's got slasher elements and follows those rules too, which always counts for something.  I give it 4 stars.

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