The Nesting aka Massacre Mansion (1981)

Produced and Directed by Armand Weston

For the most part, this is a straightforward old-haunted-house yarn, but it has a couple peculiarities that are gonna leave you wondering. The basic story is, well, basic: successful novelist rents a country home for rest, relaxation and writing, but wouldn’t ya know, something’s amiss. For one thing, she keeps having these weird dreams. For another, she’s agoraphobic, which isn’t the best trait when your residence starts frightening you. Then there’s the small matter that the house itself was depicted on the cover of one of her previous novels. Throw in a threatening drunken handyman, various oddball locals, and intrusive hallucinations, and you’ve got your hands full. Pretty good overall, but oh, those few production quirks …

why did i watch this movie?

To reiterate: I selected some of these titles quite a while ago, and haven’t the foggiest notion about many. I don’t even know where I came across this one, it turns out.

should you watch this movie?

Though it wears out its welcome here and there – the visions get a bit repetitive, and Robin Groves gets a little too hysterical a little too often – it’s a bit better than you might expect.

highlight and low point

Not only are there a few moments of supernatural activity that more or less just produce giggles – they seem superfluous and silly, even in what is essentially a ghost story – but there’s a car chase featuring fake car-chase sounds! And other ersatz automotive audio effects! I honestly cannot recall ever experiencing such a thing before; it’s extremely obvious, and it’s hilarious. Aside from this mainstream foray, producer/director/co-writer Weston worked almost exclusively in the adult-film world. Despite that, this venture is not particularly sleazy, even with a “house of ill repute” subplot.

Rating From Outer Space: B−


Ghost Ship (2002)

directed by steve beck
dark castle entertainment/village roadshow pictures/npv entertainment

“An ocean liner – where did THAT come from?” Oh, where indeed, Ghost Ship, where indeed. For honest and for true, this horror actioner seemingly was inspired by the deathless Death Ship. Preposterous though that sounds, look at the poster – I know an hommage when I see one, man. And it opens very similarly, with a lavish party on a cruise ship featuring the staff mingling with their guests, and it’s extremely familiar when they first encounter the mysterious vessel that gives the film its imaginative name. Let the record reflect that the ship itself is not a ghost. At least, I don’t think so. It is, however, inhabited by ghosts. Well, at least three ghosts, anyway. The intrepid crew of the salvage tug Alaskan Princess – wait, sorry, “Arctic Warrior” – is unbowed, however, especially after they find the crates of gold. But would you believe things don’t go smoothly, may not be quite what they seem, etc.? You’ll see the SHOCKING ending coming far ahead of its arrival onscreen. You’ll also have predicted other “twists” along the way. The thing is, you’ve seen movies.

why did i watch this movie?

Sincerely, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Could it really be, I wondered breathlessly.

should you watch this movie?

To repurpose a great Lester Bangs quip, if you’ve got any sense of humor or no standards at all, you’ll love it.

highlight and low point

It can be instructive to look at both the precedents and descendants of a piece of art so as to properly gauge its lineage. Therefore, it is with great delight, nay, the utmost glee, that I now relate to you that a scene in this motion picture was unmistakably replicated in 2010’s cinematic classic Piranha 3D.

rating from outer space: c−