Open House (1988)
Written by David M. Evans
Directed by Jag Mundhra
Dr. David Kelly...Joseph Bottoms
Lisa Grant...Adrienne Barbeau
In Los Angeles, there's always one psychopath or another stalking the streets, terrorizing the populace, and titilating the media. This week it is the Open House Killer that is getting all the attention--a dusty madman in cowboy boots, fingerless gloves and trench coat who gets his jollies by murdering beautiful real estate brokers in the houses that they are trying to sell. I don't give a damn about location, location, location...that just can't be good for business.
Radio psychologist Dr. David Kelly has a two-fold interest in the case: The first, of course, is just his general professional curiosity. The second, though, is something a little more personal. His girlfriend, Lisa Grant, just so happens to be a beautiful real estate broker attempting to sell properties in the same area.
When a patient calling himself Harry calls his show, ranting and raving about how all those snooty real estate bitches got exactly what they deserved, a theory begins circulating that Harry is actually the killer. Shapiro, the detective on the case, is certain that the solution could not be so simple.
But could it be?
Open House absolutely reeks of the 1980s. Big hair, bad music, bizarre fashions, and laughably outdated technology permeate the entire film. Unfortunately, that's the not the only thing it reeks of. The slow-moving plot barely plods along; the characters are thin and lifeless; the special effects are restrained except in only a few select scenes. And it's not that the acting is bad, per se, but the over-acting is absolutely terrible--some of the character reactions when a body turns up are the most ridiculously over-the-top performances this side of dinner theater. The filmmakers know this, and so they throw in the occasional pointless (but welcome) nude scene--to try to make you forget that you're losing 90 minutes of your life.
Even the conclusion is predictable and unsatisfying, lacking any sort of common sense. I can't in good faith reccomend this garbage to much of anyone, but the very special cameo appearance of Adrienne Barbeau's nipple might convince you that small pleasure is worth the pain.
If you're into that sort of thing...