A college student is injured by a malfunctioning soda machine on Highway 6. His fellow students take him to a doctor who lives in a basement bomb shelter and awaits the second coming of Elvis Presley. They can’t leave, and a killer stalks them with an ax
I just finished Horror House on Highway 6 a while back and I’ve been thinking about how I’m going to be able to put in to words what I’ve seen. And I’m struggling. I mean, really struggling. Horror House on Highway 6 is by far one of the most insane films I’ve seen. However, I don’t want you to walk away from this review with the belief that that’s a good thing. Discussing being a critic with a friend, the subject was brought up that despite all the great films I see, I must also have to see an awful lot of not so great films. That friend of mine couldn’t be more right.
Directed by Richard Casey, Horror House on Highway 6 is a sequel of sorts to his 1985 film, Horror House on Highway 5. Ostensibly the film is your standard slasher: a group of college students go in search of the legendary ‘Horror House’, an urban myth made of bricks and mortar. Whilst travelling down the titular Highway 6, they take a pit stop to refresh themselves. It’s at this point one of their group is injured by a coke machine and another becomes convinced that the Devil did it. To treat their friend’s wounds, the gang decides to take him to a doctor who happens to live in a basement.
Between you and me, I could be bleeding from every orifice on my body and I wouldn’t be visiting a doctor who lives in the basement. I’d rather take my chances in the wild.
Unbeknownst to our plucky young go-getters, the good doctor is not a full deck of cards. He believes that He shall return. And by He, I mean Elvis Presley. SO, with the doctor looking forward to the second coming, he doesn’t seem all that bothered about attending to his patients. Oh, and there’s an axe murderer knocking around. And some McGuffins about the blurring of the fictional world and reality. And honestly, there’s probably something else but I’ll be damned if I know what. In the words of the late, great Roger Ebert, when discussing the film North starring Elijah Wood and Bruce Willis, I hated this movie.
Taking most of its cures from the exploitation films of the 70s and 80s, Horror House on Highway 6 is a mish mash of ideas and philosophies that all point to one thing. It’s just unfortunate that none of these ideas and philosophies is pointing to the same thing. The film bounces around throwing things at the screen like a monkey with its own poop.
I try to watch all films with an open mind. I really do. As this wasn’t helping, I tried to watch it on a level of ‘hey, so it’s rough round the edges’ level, but no. I tried to appreciate it on an ironic level, as one would with The Room, but it didn’t work. This is film is so bad it acts like a beacon to other movies, directing them away from where they could end up if they don’t sort their sh*t out.
For those who have already seen the film and, gasp, probably like it, I imagine you’re looking at me like a dog shown a card trick. I suspect that you’re probably murmuring something about how I just didn’t get it. And if that is you right now, dear reader, you are welcome to put me in my place in the comments below. Until then, I will just continue to shake my head that such a film could possibly exist without a health warning. Cheap, amateurish and poorly acted there is nothing here I could recommend without showing myself up to be a liar. What I will say is if you see this on VOD or your local Wal-Mart, hit the road and find something much more fun to watch.
Look at that! Seems I wasn’t struggling for words after all.