American Gothic

The Story/The Film Itself: American Gothic is an interesting, somewhat obscure movie from the late eighties. The film centers on a young woman who is being released from a psychiatric hospital after a traumatic experience. Her husband believing she needs some rest and relaxation decides to take her on a vacation with four of their friends. On the way to their destination they are forced to land their plane on a desolate island and that’s where the fun begins. While searching through the woods they find a house owned by Ma and Pa, an eccentric, bible thumping old couple who don’t believe in modern conveniences like, oh say, electricity. Also along for the ride are Ma and Pa’s children. Three middle-aged adults who act, talk and dress like little kids. Things get worse when this deranged family begins killing the sinful group one by one. Not taken too seriously, American Gothic is one helluva good time. I found the family to be genuinely creepy thanks to brilliant performances by Yvonne DeCarlo, the over-the-top Rod Steiger, Michael J. Pollard and Janet Wright as the only daughter, Fanny. While the movie has it’s fair share of eerie moments, it also finds room to be quite funny without turning the whole movie into a big joke, which given the film’s premise could have been quite possible. This movie has it all. Crazy characters, fun (literally) death scenes, a mummified baby, necrophilia, and human corpses being used as dolls. Highly recommended.

Special Features: There aren’t any special features on this dvd. However, being that this movie was never priced to own (the vhs cost $89.99), the fact that it is even on dvd is special enough for me. It is currently available for purchase through Amazon for only $10. – neil a.

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