“The Outing” aka “The Lamp (1987)
Directed by: Tom Daley
Written by: Warren Chaney
Starring: Deborah Winters, James Huston and Andra St. Ivanyi
Review by: “Machine Gun” Kristin
I saw “The Outing” at a sleepover party, probably when it was fairly recent on VHS in the late 80s. My memory is fuzzy at best so I have a surreal sort of recollection of it. It was on in the middle of the night, and I only remember flashes of the last 20 minutes or so. I thought it was a little scary at the time, or just strange in a way. I’d say it was just the time of night that I watched it also that made it seem scarier. I believe this was the same sleepover party where the resident cat of the household I was sleeping at decided to brush my hair with it claws, cementing a long running distain for pets.
"Come on kids, let's squeeze everyone into the family photo"
Another similar show I remember was USA’s “Reel Wild Cinema” which was hosted by Sandra Bernhard and Executive Produced by Mike Vraney of “Something Weird” video.
“The Outing” is also known as more coherently titled “The Lamp” overseas. I don’t know if it's the first horror genie film, but I’m sure by that time, people couldn’t image “I Dream Of Jeannie” committing heinous murders of naked teenage girls. Unfortunately, the version I watched was super dark, so it was hard to entirely decipher what was happening. This is when the “cleaned up” version of a film really shines, because it displays details we may have missed in past versions. I love VHS formats and grainy videos as much as the next person, but occasionally it's also nice to see a clearer picture because it enhances the creator's original intent. “The Outing” recently received the Shout Factory treatment, but apparently it's still not the right version. Apparently, there’s two different opening sequences, one that explains the Arab women’s possession of the Lamp and another that begins the film past that sequence in the present. There’s also some edits made to a rape scene and I think some of the gore scenes as well. It's annoying as hell when these strange edits are made because then it becomes all the more difficult to obtain the “correct” version of the film.
Original title sequence
something stinks around here!
could you spare some change for the bus?
may I have this dance?
Most of the cast and crew didn’t seem to much else before or after “The Outing”. Deborah Winters and screenwriter Warren Chaney are actually husband and wife. She made some films in the 60s and 70s, but you might recognize her best from the super fun 1978 horror film, “Blue Sunshine”.
"The Outing" is a fun film, with some nice gore scenes, but overall could've been better. But then again, it could have been worse. I'd give it 2 and 1/2 pairs of blood splattered high-waisted Guess jeans.
You can watch it HERE
You can buy it HERE!