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Home | Film Review: Houseboat Horror (1989)

Film Review: Houseboat Horror (1989)


A horrible rock band and a camera crew filming a cheesy music video in the backwoods of Australia are stalked and killed by a hulking maniac who thinks he’s Jason Voorhees.


I had never heard of Houseboat Horror and after watching it recently I know why. If you have every wondered what the Friday the 13th movies would have been like if someone with pretty much no talent when it came to filmmaking wrote and directed them then check out this movie and you’ll have your answer. Aside from some of the special effects (that actually looked pretty decent considering that the filmmakers behind it apparently had a budget of roughly $3.00 to work with) there is really nothing positive I can say about this movie. I know it isn’t supposed to be taken seriously (at least I hope it isn’t), but it is just painfully bad and how I made it all the way through it without skipping to the next scene, turning it off without finishing it, or just running away screaming in general is nothing short of miraculous. I have a pretty high threshold for being able to sit through terrible movies (unless they involve people like Nic Cage, Will Ferrell, Ben Stiller, Jonah Hill, etc), but I was almost pushed to my limit this time around.

What is so bad about this movie? I don’t even know where to begin. For starters there are way too many people in it and honestly, I don’t think I could name a single character if I had to do so as none of them is important (during the opening credits we are told that someone called “Animal” is in the movie but sadly the guy from the Legion of Doom/Road Warriors tag team or the Muppet who enjoyed beating the shit out of his drum set never made an appearance). There are too many pointless scenes that seem to go on forever, most of the scenes are so dark and or so poorly shot I didn’t have a clue what the hell was happening, and the sound was so muffled it was pretty almost impossible to hear what anyone was saying. In addition, the killer is a lame rip-off of Jason Voorhees with a ridiculously lame back story, some of the death scenes are completely lifted from a number of Friday the 13th films, and there comes a point where we actually have to witness the shitty music video that the band and crew is there to film as it is being made. Overall most of the aspects of this film are horrible and if you watch it thinking that you are going to find something about it that you like then you are going to be pretty damn disappointed.

The Friday the 13th-inspired death scenes are pretty shitty, and the “original” ones that the writer came up with are even worse. Have you ever seen anyone get killed with a horseshoe? If not, then here’s your chance. At first I thought that he was going to throw it at his victim and make it twirl around her neck or something, but he ends up doing something even stupider than that (if that is even possible). Other than the death by horseshoe (which is anything but lucky for the victim) we have a lot of stabbings via a machete that is obviously made of cardboard and someone is shot with some arrows (I think, the scene is actually so dark I am not sure what happened to him but If I had to guess I would say that a bow and arrow was involved). Like everything else involved with the movie the death scenes are pretty lousy (the ones that you can actually make out anyway) and are less than impressive.

I am all for obscure, low-budget films (especially the ones that were made in the 1980’s), but Houseboat Horror is inexcusably bad. It is so bad that I am amazed that the people behind it were able to find someone to distribute it for them. This is one of those movies that wouldn’t even be enjoyable if you saw it on Mystery Science Theater 3000, and I really don’t think I could recommend it to anyone. Avoid it at all costs if possible, and if you do have to watch it for some reason (because you are on the losing end of a bet or something) keep in mind that it is mercifully short (though is sure as Hell doesn’t seem so while you are actually watching it).

Houseboat Horror (1989)

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