Checking out the imdb page for today's feature, Devil Times Five (1974), I found that it's got a couple of alternate titles: People Toys and The Horrible House on the Hill. It's certainly not unusual for a film to have multiple titles; I was shocked, however, that this movie is not also known as The Most Boring Movie in the History of Ever Times Ten Million.
A van full of mental patient kiddies crashes on its way up a snowy mountain. The children (one who dresses up like a nun, one who dresses up like a soldier, one who likes fire, one who...is just kinda there, and Leif Garrett) trudge through the snow and eventually come to a chalet where three couples are having a weekend getaway.
Actually, that's not true. Now is not the time for mayhem! Instead, let's watch the three couples bicker- isn't that exciting? No? Well, maybe you'll think it's exciting when I tell you that one of the wives is played by Shelley Morrison- Rosario of television's Will and Grace!
What? That's still not exciting? OK...then let's watch another one of the wives awkwardly try to seduce the chalet's "simple" handyman, Ralph (movie co-writer John Durren) ! Now that's exciting, lemme tell ya. Thrill! as Lovely (yes , her name is Lovely, and she's played by Leif Garrett's mom Carolyn Stellar) frightens both Ralph and the audience as she barks: "Ralph, put away my clothes! Brush my hair! Rub my feet! Pick me up! Put me down! Have you ever...had a woman, Ralph?"- to which Ralph replies, "I had a mother and two sisters. They got squished on a bus."
Fine, fine. I know what you horror fans want- on-screen kiddie violence! A pint-sized Leif Garrett wreaking havoc! That's what I wanted, anyway. Sadly, this doesn't occur for...oh, about another hour. There's one death to tide you over in the interim, however- the kids bludgeon their doctor in a scene that's shown in the slowest slow motion ever. Really. It was so slow I started to think there was something wrong with my brain. It was so dark I couldn't tell what was going on. It was so long I began to hope that someone would come along and bludgeon me. The scene was five minutes long- yes, I timed it. From the first whack to the last, it took five minutes. In the slowest slow motion ever. In that time I experienced an entire rainbow of feelings: I was bored, angry, joyful, sad, repentant, and delirious.
Lest you think I'm exaggerating, I want you to take a little test. Look at a clock and note the time. You could stare at the clock for five whole minutes, or, in that time, you could finish reading this review and leave a comment. You could make a grilled cheese sandwich- maybe even take a bite. You could listen to 4 songs by Bikini Kill...and so on. FIVE FUCKING MINUTES is a VERY LONG FUCKING TIME. Sorry , but I need to stress that.
After The Longest Kill Scene Evarrrrr, the children stay with the adults in the chalet, playing up their roles as innocent victims of a terrible van accident.
Wait, still not yet. First we must have long, drawn-out scenes wherein people eat dinner, play chess, do the dishes, drink wine, work out, go sledding...and on and on. Then Rosario enjoys a banana.
FINALLY, in the last 20 minutes or so, the action picks up. The kids really go to town on the adults and we get death by axe, death by fire, death by spear, death by pirahna (yes, you read that correctly), death by bear traps and throat slashing, and death by...a swing with a pointy stick attached.
Where, oh where had you been for the last 70 minutes, sociopathic violent kiddie action? Where? Had you been present throughout the proceedings, I may feel differently about you. Had you not shown me new depths of boredom- depths I sincerely hope I never visit again- I might even like you. But as it stands, I can only give you 4 out of 10 the two best things about this movie are the following: 1) the graphics of the title placard, and 2) when Leif Garrett falls from a ladder and exclaims "My face! Look what you've done to my beautiful face!"s.