Movie: "Dead Dudes In The House"
Year: 1992
Rated: Unrated
Genre: Horror
Directed by: James Riffel
Writing credits: James Riffel

Reviewer: Dextire
Posted: 9/13/2010

Plot: A group of friends gather to fix up an old house and disturb the grave of the murderous old lady who used to live there. She kills them.

Review: With a title like "Dead Dudes in the House" and the fact that the film is from Troma, I was expecting it to be about group of rappers forced to take on all matter of zombies, mutants, and transvestites, all while failing to rap their way out of a paper bag. Not true in this particular case. No, this is one of those films where the movie was finished and had no money left for distribution. Troma then picked it up and changed the name, cover art, and description before releasing it to the world. What we're left with is a fun, campy, gory little haunted house movie that many people seem to remember, but no one can recall the name.

The story goes that a guy named Mark and a group of his friends go to repair an old house that he got on the cheap (you can probably guess why). While searching the front yard, they come across the grave of the homicidal, hundred-year-old Abigail Leatherby. Because this is a horror movie, one of them quickly breaks the grave stone before they all head into the house. Dear old lady Abigail and her daughter awaken from their eternal slumber and trap the group inside the house, and then proceed to kill them all off one by one.

One of the things I like about this movie is that the friends aren't the complete idiots you typically find in these kinds of movies. I don't mean to say that they're all that smart, and they're not above performing the occasional cliché stupid move that is so prevalent in the horror genre. But I wasn't constantly just waiting for the old lady to take out the next moron either. When they're unable to get out of the house, they try cutting through the doors and smashing through the windows (using tools, not the usual bare-handed tactics). And when that doesn't work, they take the time to make weapons for everyone, and they stay together to search for a way out. None of that planning helps them at all, but at least they tried.

Another thing I like is when the victims are killed in the many various, violent ways, they come back as ghosts as well. Still looking exactly the same way as when they died. And once dead, they no longer care about escaping from the house, and are even willing to help the old lady kill off the rest of the group. In one scene; a guy is killed by having his hands chopped off by the old lady, falling three floors down from the window he was trying to climb in, and then having the old lady drop a steel pipe through his chest. Later, when you see him again, he's still got the pipe sticking through him and he even laughs it off. "What's the matter? Don't you recognize me? Oh, must be this big pole in my chest."

I really enjoyed this movie, and would definitely recommend tracking down a copy for yourself. There might not be any zombie rappers, but there is a guy made-up to look like an old lady. And isn't that what you really wanted all along?

Overall rating: WholeWholeWholeHalf
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

Sep 14th, 2010, 09:59 AM
Why would they rename it "Dead Dudes In The House", that doesn't really seem to fit at all.
Sep 14th, 2010, 10:45 AM
That's the best synopsis of a movie ever.
Sep 14th, 2010, 01:25 PM
I'm gonna give this a look.
Dr Tongue's 3D House
Sep 14th, 2010, 04:07 PM
Bob (the character who broke the tombstone) had the greatest lines in the movie from "dont you know a carpenters tools are his hammer, nails and beer" to when he first looks at the old lady and says "If she keeps staring at us Iam going to go smash her in the face" His acting was so horrific it was amazing. Thanks for bringing this gem to my attention. We need to do a list of the things Ive learned from this movie, like what a carpenters tools are or that before a big job Bobs has a smoke "its my ritual"
Cranberry Everything
Sep 14th, 2010, 07:18 PM
Nick: Yeah, it really doesn't make any sense to me either. I've seen other Troma films that are the same way. No idea why they would give them completely random names like that.

10,000 Volt Ghost: Thanks, man. It seemed to be the only dignified way to summarize the film.

Shadowdancer21b: Glad to hear it! Let me know what you think.

The Doctor: Bob's lines were indeed amazing. And I'd love to see a list of things learned. I myself learned that crazy old women have the most absurd lip spasms I've ever seen.
Sep 16th, 2010, 02:17 AM
Found out through Wikipedia that an alternative title was "The House on Tombstone Hill", which does sound much more fitting. Also, none of the actors on the poster actually appear in the movie. :D
Cranberry Everything
Sep 16th, 2010, 05:45 PM
The title that comes up during the final credits is "The Dead Come Home". Both fit far and away better than what Troma managed to come up with. And you're absolutely right, none of the actors in the movie look even remotely like the guys on the cover.
The #1 My Little Pony
Sep 21st, 2010, 01:39 AM
I want this movie so bad now!

Must. Track. Down....
frappez le cochon rouge
Sep 21st, 2010, 02:10 AM
It's in one of the Toxie's Triple Terror boxes. It's on Amazon - Troma doesn't sell them on their site for some reason.