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Bad Movie Tuesday: Boardinghouse (1982), an upsettingly boring, cheesy failure of a microbudget B-movie about telekinesis.

May 12, 2020

MY CALL: So bad. MORE MOVIES LIKE Boardinghouse: Hard to say. But it’s rare that I’d ever suggest someone actually watch Witchcraft II: The Temptress (1988)… as long as it was instead of Boardinghouse. This makes Death Spa (1989) and Killer Workout (1987) feel like filmmaking triumphs.

So, quick disclaimer. I watched the “rare director’s cut” of this microbudget B-movie. Don’t do that!!! I also had to buy this in order to watch it. Don’t do that either!!! Don’t watch this inordinately long cut. It’s 2 hours and 36 minutes. Yes! You read that right! A craptastic, not even so-bad-it’s-good, already boring-as-sin flick that was stretched out by an extra hour! This was the God-Emperor of bad ideas. No wonder this cut is “rare.”

Long after the death of a Nobel Laureate who was researching telekinesis and the occult, subsequent occupants of the house found horrible accidental deaths by mutilation. When our newest owner moves in, he decides to make it into a boardinghouse for “young, single, beautiful, unattached girls.” So I guess we’re in for some sleaze. But no. It’s not nearly as raunchy as you’d expect (e.g., it’s no Greasy Strangler). In fact, other than the inclusion of some gratuitous nudity, its delivery is hardly raunchy at all. We just squeeze the cheese all over this movie with bikini-clad twentysomethings in an inordinate number of pool scenes with nothing to say and nothing to do, in a movie with nothing to entertain us.

So this weird little flick is conceptually sleazy, but never really delivers on the raunchy exploitation you’d expect. Makes you wonder what it has to offer. Maybe some good gory efforts? Hardly. Maybe two decent scenes. Two scenes in 150 minutes!

The best part of this God-awful movie was also the most needlessly mean part: the hammered cat scene. Yup. A cat gets killed in about as mean and graphic a way as I’ve seen. At least the cat in The Boondock Saints (1999) was killed instantaneously. There was also one entertaining scene with a woman gouging out her own eyes. The effects are cheap, but it’s the only scene (other than the hammered cat) that feels like it received any effort. But the other 2 hours and 32 minutes of this movie painfully drag. Every scene was too long—way too long—and way too boring. This was so bad it made me long for even some of the lowest quality Troma films.

There’s this weird gardener character that’s meant to be mysterious. Every scene and everything about that character fails to deliver anything outside of the sheer lunacy that someone thought this was a good idea.

In terms of overall filmmaking, this is hot garbage covered in liquid feces that got lit on fire. The narration and exposition are dry and boring and just so clumsy, there are numerous worthless little shots clunkily edited, the deaths are flaccid, and most of the scenes are completely unnecessary.

The special effects are nothing special. Perhaps the “best” effects after the self-eye-gauging involved a man pulling animal organs between his shirt buttons. I wanted so badly to be able to laugh at this movie. Instead I rue the day I ever heard of it. Writer and director John Wintergate (Terror by Tour) disappeared from film after this movie. I’m hoping a few people who suffered through it tracked him down and threw him in that remote cabin basement with Henrietta.

I’ve written nearly 1000 reviews for this website. And this, truly and honestly, may very well be the most devastatingly boring thing I’ve watched and reviewed. Spare yourselves. Avoid this at all costs.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. rdfranciswriter permalink
    May 13, 2020 12:17 pm

    Oh, the days of SOV Big Box VHS. Love ’em. DVD’s and streaming just ain’t the same. Good memories of plucking his off the shelf.

  2. May 23, 2020 11:18 pm

    Just the tagline is enough to make someone gag. I remember this one, unfortunately.

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