Friday, August 24, 2012

Back in Time: The House of Clocks (1989)

The House of Clocks (La casa nel tempo) (Italy, 1989)
rating: **
starring: Keith Van Hoven, Karina Huff and Paolo Paoloni

Honestly, seeing Fulci made this, I was expecting a lot. Gore, grue, mutilations, all of these crimson treats wanders through my head as I took home a copy of this, regarded as one of Fulci's finest later works. What was shown to me, other than the gore, was a lot more unexpected to what I usually get from the Godfather of Italian gore.

The House of Clocks is about a trio of hoodlums who decide to go and rob an wealthy elderly couple that lives out in a huge country side mansion filled with clocks. Once arriving there, and killing off the occupants, they soon find themselves terrorized by the ghoulish remains of their victims

One thing I could admire about The House of Clocks would be the fact that it's gory for a TV movie. Early on, we see a poor lady gets her groin impaled with a large pike, and what soon follows didn't loose the streak either. From brutal gunnings (of elders of all people!), to hands being stabbed by bladed bracelets, the movie certainly had Fulci's signature bloodletting written all over it. Aside from the visceral mayhem, The House of Clocks also built itself some working atmosphere. Plenty a shot of the house's inner structures, rooms and, yes, the clocks helped built the movie's eerie, dreadful and unsettling aura, though not as lavishing as one would find it.

Plus it's a home invasion movie. I always dig home invasion movies.

It was all going fine around the first half, where a home invasion played out, but by the time the plot of the movie finally takes action, this is where the story goes downhill for me. The movie is about a house that goes back in time. Now, what I was kinda expecting was that the house would rewind the events and had the two elderly victims get the upperhand but instead, it only did half of that. True, the victims got back and starts torturing the heck out of their killers, but the problem was I never felt any connection to the victims, from both sides. They spent the next last act either trying to survive the night against homicidal ghosts or try to kill the other after mindfucking with them. Did these characters really developed? Not really, and I don't give a shit at all anymore. What's worse is the script; it's one of those absurd excuses of a sentences that these casts tries to spat out. These scripting often calls for bad cheese, but this sticks out a lot if it doesn't fit the actual tone of the movie.

In the end, The House of Clocks just lacked on the proper department. Not only was the plot weakly executed (the non-gore effects are just awful), but It's lost itself at the near end, giving us no explanation to what force is doing all this and why? Frustrating as it is, I rather had it end than try to make some sense out of all that has happened. I don't want to speak ill of one of my admired directors, but, seriously? How much thought was put into this before they even talked about budget?

1 female corpse seen with a nail driven to her neck
1 male corpse seen with a nail driven to his neck
1 female pike to the groin
1 male brained against a table
1 elderly female shotgunned to the gut
1 elderly male shotgunned to the back
1 male shot with shotgun, later brained with hammer
1 male impaled with a pike
1 male shot with shotgun
1 elderly male spiked candle holder to the gut
1 elderly female strangled with cloth
2 males and 1 female crashes off a cliff
total: 14


  1. Seen that one a few years ago. Awful movie, one of Fulci's worst. The premise is awesome and I had some really high expectations on this - unfortunately, the whole thing bored the crap outta me.

    1. if only I can "go back in time" to tell Fulci "DON'T DO IT!"