Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Unseen

The Unseen (1980)
Starring: Barbara Bach, Sydney Lassick
Directed By: Danny Steinmann (also directed "Savage Streets") 
Review By: "Machine Gun" Kristin

**SPOILERS! Just about everything is given away!**

"The Unseen" is a very strange, 1980s film, although the time it's set in seemed vague to me. It was made in 1980, but elements of it felt more late 80s. Then again, some other details, such as the character's clothing, felt more late 70s. The very pretty, but sometimes gaunt looking Jennifer (Bond girl and sometimes Giallo actress Barbara Bach) is a reporter covering a ho-hum story in Solvang, California she's going through a break up with her injured football player boyfriend (Doug Barr).
Her camera operator sister (Karen Lamm, who in reality was married/divorced to Dennis Wilson from The Beach Boys) and friend (Lois Young) can't find a place to stay after a hotel error, they drive further away to Los Alamos. There, they find an odd looking, non-running hotel turned museum. It's run by Ernest Keller (verteran character actor, Sydney Lassick) and his so-called wife Virginia (Lelia Goldoni) who constantly wails and moans with a low slumped sad look on her face. Ernest offers his large house as accommodations and they bravely take him up on his offer instead of opting to sleep in the car. Which of course, is what they should have done!

Mini 'Junior" type creature in background

Abandon all hope errr....right now

Pants are optional in Solvang

These pretzels are making me thirsty! 

   It's strange that this somewhat mainstream movie hits many uncomfortable notes. Ones such as chicken killing, peeping toms, abortion, incest, near castration and mongoloids. Yep, that's right mongoloids! Or just one anyway chained up in the basement named Junior (Stephen Furst, Flounder from "Animal House"!). He's the monster staring up through the floor vents in the house, taking the girls under with him. In that aspect, I could see similarities to Fulci's "House By The Cemetery" with its basement dwelling creatures taking their victims from the floor above them. There's also bizarre similarities to "The Goonies" (1985) character, Sloth. In the beginning of "Unseen", there's a figure in the background that actually looks like Sloth, or maybe it's supposed to be a Ray Harryhausen type creation. Was Sloth's character based on "The Unseen's" Junior? It makes you re-examine Sloth's origin. In "The Goonies", Anne Ramsey's character says that he was dropped on his head as a baby which resulted in his disfigurement. Oh really? Hmmm....  

Sloth and Mongoloid Flounder: separated at birth?

This was a decent movie, I was kept guessing what the hell was going on that's for sure. It's nice that it had a good payoff and a disturbing trip to the outcome. The tone was weirdly comedic but the content was so gross and weird it was hard to laugh at much at it. I think it'd be a good double feature with "Pin", with the weird family secret type of theme connecting those two.

Scarves are a bad idea, it's not even cold out! 

Ahhhaha I got my cigarettes!

I stole a ciggie from Sydney

  Dated January 9, 1980

Watch The Trailer HERE

Watch "The Unseen" HERE

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