House (Hausu) (1977)
by Hope Madden
For a weirdly Japanese take on haunted houses, sneak a gander at Hausu. Think of it as something like Pee-wee’s Playhouse of Carnage.
A spoof of sorts, Hausu tells the story of six uniform-clad high school girls named Gorgeous, Fantasy, Sweet, Melody, Kung Fu, and Mac. The nomenclature alone should clue you in on the film’s lunacy.
The giggling sextet spend spring break at an aunt’s spooky house – or, in fact, a cheaply made set of an aunt’s spooky house. Not a single thing that follows makes sense, nor is it really meant to.
Expect puppets, random musical sequences, remarkably bad backdrops, slapstick humor, a demonic cat, a man-eating piano, and an amazingly sunny disposition given the sheer volume of human dismemberment.
The trippy nonsense wears a bit thin eventually. Luckily director Nobuhiko Obayashi’s film clocks in at under 90 minutes, so the screen goes dark before the novelty wears off.
Hausu screens at midnight Thursday (8/8). You can also see:
7:30 PM: Blood C: The Last Dark
10:30 PM: Battle Royale