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Don't Go in the House (1980)

Dan Grimaldi , Charles Bonet , Joseph Ellison  |  R |  DVD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Dan Grimaldi, Charles Bonet, Bill Ricci, Robert Osth, Dennis M. Hunter
  • Directors: Joseph Ellison
  • Writers: Joseph Ellison, Ellen Hammill, Joe Masefield
  • Producers: Dennis Stephenson, Edward L. Montoro, Ellen Hammill, Matthew Mallinson
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Unknown)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Shriek Show
  • DVD Release Date: November 29, 2005
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #174,544 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Don't Go in the House" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Donald Kohler is a young man who, as a child, was severely burned by his sadistic/overbearing mother as a cruel means of discipline and punishment. After years of social estrangement pass, Donald comes home to his mother after an accident at the local in

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Back when I was a small child in the mid 70's, Horror movies expectedly frightened me. Big time. Even movie trailers on the TV would have me running into another room. But by the time I reached ten or eleven something happened, my Dad got us cable. There I was barraged by uncut Horror classics running 24 hours a day, on several channels, and I couldn't escape. Nor did I want to.

One of the first then-modern day Horror films I saw there was 1980's Don't Go In The House. While films like Halloween and Friday The 13th were already made by the time this movie came out, it was this movie with it's strange feel & it's one shocking scene that stuck in my head for years to come. Now after one completely botched earlier DVD release, Horror King Wannabe's Shriek Show has released the film in a special edition that may have you asking was it worth it in the first place?

Starring Dan Grimaldi, who eventually would go to play key-character Patsy Parisi in The Sopranos throughout it's entire run, this film is about Donald Kohler, a young man tortured throughout his life by his smothering & abusive mother. During a key moment in his youth, his mother punishes him for having "impure thoughts" by holding his arms above a burning flame. Eventually it's this flame that warps his mind and leads him down his insane murderous path. As a man, he has a job as a garbage man incinerator operator (surprised?). One day he sees a co-worker catch on fire and instead of helping him, he just stands there mesmerized by the flames and goes home. But at home he discovers that his mother has died in her sleep, and he's finally free of her...or is he? But in true "Psycho" fashion, he decides to not tell anyone, keep the body (not without a payback first), and live out his dark burning fantasies.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disco Inferno March 16, 2006
Forgotten bit of early 80s horror nastiness overcomes its more graphic and mysogynistic elements thanks to a loopy performance by Dan Grimaldi (The Sopranos) and a wonderfully cheesy disco soundtrack. Watch as Grimaldi celebrates his evil mother's passing by playing his disco records REALLY loud. Truly a product of its time, Don't Go In the House ranks alongside William Lustig's Maniac in the sleazy slasher department. A guilty pleasure to be sure.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More sleaze please because this is my kind of Horror! February 24, 2010
Why did it take this long for me to finally appreciate a Horror flick like this!? I already know that answer. I remember buying a copy of this on an old ex-rental vhs some years back when I was a teenager. At the time, I didn't have much patience for it and quickly fast forwarded through most of it because I thought it was boring not see non-stop carnage. Boy, was I clueless or what about this kind of Horror. Haha. Well, after several years later and having seen many Horror flicks, I ran across the Shriek Show edition (nice edition by the way), of 'Don't Go in the House' and thinking, "I have to buy this! I actually need to give this flick a chance now that I've enjoyed a lot of Horrors reaching from extreme to tame to serious to silliness." After watching 'Don't Go in the House', I was shocked at how creepy and sleazy this film is; I LOVE IT!!!

The story is simple. A mean and evil mother tortures her son during his childhood years. Now he's grown up, his mother, whom he still lives with, has just died and now the son, being somewhat disturbed, really goes of the deep end! Starts hearing those pesky, evil, little voices in his head that tell him to seek revenge on his mother by killing other women. The way he fixes up one of the rooms in his house for his mother's punishment, is sick and disturbing! How he murders these women is truly brutal. Images of those charred corpses stayed in my head for awhile. Besides the one nasty, long scene that people like to point out, I found a couple more jaw dropping scenes! I compare Joseph Ellison's 'Don't Go in the House', a lot to William Lustig's 'Maniac'. I find it interesting that both films were put out in same year, 1980. It's the same situation with 'The Burning' and 'Madman'. Those two came out in the same year.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars better then most of the late-70's schlock September 19, 2002
already a good case against this flick as it falls within the rash of knock-off "don't answer/look/open" movies which hit the scene in the late '70's - but this movie actually holds its own with some considerable sickness and a generally depraved attitude. The lead character doesn't smile once through the whole flick and hardly winces as he torches poor girls in his custom-made incinerator. Not much gore unfortunately other than some burnt bodies but this film is so humorless it makes up for the lack of grue in its mean-spiritedness. A kid abused by his mom (over the range-top burners of course) grows up to obsess about her (a la Psycho) and then take his revenge out against the innocent. A couple good jumps here and there - all in all a quality flick. Probably would have given it 4 stars but the DVD has absolutely nothing in the way of extras: full-screen, 2 (!) chapters, and thats it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The 1970's was an optimum year for horror films in almost every country in the world. From a social stand-point you could blame A LOT of things on why there were so many violent and shocking films, but personally I'd have to say that directors back then just knew how to bring chills up your spine. Such is actually the case in Don't Go in the House, a bizarre little low budget psychological horror/character study film about a quiet, little guy who was tortured as a kid by his mother using fire and the night his mother dies he just... snaps.

One thing I find interesting about Don't Go in the House is that it's NOT a Slasher film; in fact there's little Slasher film about it. There isn't even any blood! Well okay, one nose bleed, but that's literally it. The movie isn't trying to scare you with bodily fluids, it goes a completely different angle and DAMN does it work... The killer isn't some goofy super man in a mask or wearing flamboyant colors, he's a normal, ordinary guy. If anything makes him stand out from the crowd it's the simple fact that he tends to be a pretty snappy dresser (nice disco duds). His methods of murder are closer to realism, too. He doesn't go on random kill-sprees in populated areas that just HAPPEN to be isolated, he doesn't hunt, he lures. He lures women into his house, knocks them out and then... guhhh, ick... he INCINERATES them... That may not sound creepy, but the way the bodies are made in the film they look pretty realistic.

Of course, the small budget on this title shows immensely. There aren't too many notable performances save for maybe the main character, the main character's friend and one cute drunk girl ("It's a bar, dummy!"). Oh, and the main character's boss, but he was only in three scenes.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars yes its me
its a good movie if you like horror
Published 20 days ago by Annie L. Dawson-taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by Linda R SantaMaria
3.0 out of 5 stars Very obvious but still creepy
The fact that a man wants revenge for the abuse he suffered as a child is incredibly obvious and pounded into the ground, but this is still very creepy fare.
Published 5 months ago by Viva
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite films
A wonderful film that I enjoy upon every view... The whole thing is just superb. I really can't say enough about the thought-provoking aspects of this film and the dread that... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Jason A.
4.0 out of 5 stars A+ AMAZON
Great B movie horror at a great price, almost impossible to find this anywhere else very pleased with this purchase
Published 7 months ago by roger burk
5.0 out of 5 stars crazy film
i first saw the trailer at trailer wars contest which i won for my film leaf blower massacre. it looked crazy a young guy who has mommy issues and tourtures and kills women. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Anthony J. Cooney
2.0 out of 5 stars Not much more than a riff on Psycho!
Psycho (1960) is such a great film. "DON'T Go In The House" (1980) is a movie that takes some of its conventions and copies them without offering anything new. Read more
Published 21 months ago by GSD
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Late...I Already Went In The House
Don't Go In The House is pretty much a poor man's Psycho. It's about a man whose abusive mother has died, but he can't deal with it. Read more
Published on January 7, 2011 by Ben Wasden
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, not bad at all.
I thought this movie was pretty good, of course I am a fan of such movies that came from that era. 70s and 80s slasher/horror flicks are among my favorites to watch. Read more
Published on January 2, 2010 by Nathan Chamberlain
4.0 out of 5 stars it was still as creepy in the 80's as it is now, i hope they never...
i like this movie alot, its still creepy now as it was in the 80's i was in 4 or 5th grade when my parents took me the drive in to see that and another two movies as well, umm... Read more
Published on June 3, 2009 by Sean Martin
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