Cult movies should be mistakes, not intentional. In his 1977 feature debut, theres no indication that Nobuhiko Obayahshi meant for House to appearthree decades later, to non-Japanese viewerscompletely insane. But it is: batshit, Technicolor, fairy-tale-meets-softcore-porn insane. Seven teenage schoolgirls visit the creepy old mansion inhabited by the spinster aunt of heroine Gorgeous (all the girls are similarly type-named); there they begin to disappear Ten Little Indians-style. But whos killing whom, and why, are the least interesting questions about this effects-saturated dreamscape. Gorgeous is in love with her dashing father and despises his evil fiancée (whose hair and dress are permanently aflutter with a wind machine). Her schoolmates have a crush on their teacher, and her aunt is still pining for a soldier who died in WWII. All that thwarted love leads to flying heads, flashbacks, severed limbs, a ravenous piano, demonic cat, and tidal wave of blood. Obayashi crams every scene of House with giddy, gaudy visual excess; its like Douglas Sirk on acid. (NR) BRIAN MILLER
Re-release poster for HOUSE (HAUSU), designed by Sam Smith.