Which is what I wanted to add to the name this blog post – but it would have been too long.
I’m seriously considering changing my little blog subtitle (the thing about the babbling) to that. Hell – I should just change my whole freaking blog name to that.
“You’re too damn crazy to be crazy!” may very well be one of the all time best movie lines of all times – as far as I’m concerned.
And what movie is that?, you ask. It is none other than the 1981 epic masterpiece The Nesting.
I learned about this little gem a mere few days ago through a review done by Unkle Lancifer on Kindertrauma. His review is not a favorable one – but I went ahead and watched the movie anyway cause a) I woke up at like 5 am for some ungodly reason and couldn’t go back to sleep, b) I like old haunted house movies and c) I do pretty much everything Unkle Lancifer says. Oh wait. He kinda said NOT to watch the movie.
Oh. My mistake.
I got about 5 minutes into the movie (on Netflix) and realized that I had to do a Home Sweet Home post about it. For those of you who have not been following my blog with all the fervor of a feverishly rabid dog, I’ll just simply say that I want to live here. Here in this creepy old giant house.
I not only wanted to do this post because of the incredibly, insanely cool house, but also because it is one of the stupidest movies I have seen in a long time. We here at CPCFCW generally shy away from movie reviews and such, instead relying on a time-honored technique that is more akin to finger pointing, laughing and saying WTF? That is what I would like to do here, because I feel that this movie needs many many WTF fingers pointed at it.
*WARNING* Oh, and I thought I should warn you – I took like twice as many screen grabs of this movie than I normally do (68!) so this post might be kinda long. So I’ll try and be somewhat succinct with my babbling.
Let’s start with the house.
This is one mother flipping groovy-ass house. I can’t remember the exact term the tan-pantsed boyfriend guy (we’ll get to him later) uses in the movie – octal, octagonal, octa-sided, something – but it’s this really amazing 8 sided house. On imdb they have the filming location as The Armour-Stiner House – aka the Carmer Octagon House and is located in Irvington, NY and it is my belief that the majority of the movie’s budget went to renting this house. That and getting their hands on John Carradine.
So as you can see up above, there is a massive octagonal wrap-around porch (can you say holy shit?) with this really neat railing. Here’s a better shot down below. Ignore the stupid look on that guy’s face though. Actually, don’t ignore it. Soak it in and remember to never look like that for as long as you live. There will be more examples.
Alright, alright. You can look like that if you’re singing about the sky or birds or something. But that’s it.
Here we are at the front door. Check out that etched glass! Damn. And it’s all over the place.
I’m not buying the wicker basket mail jobbie though. It looks a bit too 80s to me. Unless it’s cast iron. Then it’s ok.
So here we are entering the house. I would like to point out here that if you do make the decision to watch this movie on Netflix it will look nothing like these pictures. I lightened them up like a mo-fo. The Netflix image you will see will be considerably more murky.
One cool aspect of this movie is, due to dreams, hallucinations and flashbacks, we get to see the house in a very ship-shape state and in a dilapidated, unkempt state. I like both and will present both for your enjoyment (and I do use that term loosely). Here is a flashback shot of the main entry but from a different angle where you can see this whole wall of frosted and etched glass windows. So cool.
And off to the right you can see a lamp shade. That shade is to a whole lamp that is attached to the base of the staircase banister. I’ve never seen that before and it geeks me out to no end. Seriously. Here’s a couple more shots of the light – at the bottom banister base and a shot at the same thing at the top of the staircase.
Dig that red fringe!
So here are some shots of the groovy red walls and a particularly interesting floor lamp on the main floor.
I’d like to quickly show you another insanely cool lamp that is in this movie. It’s in another house – but I couldn’t resist showing it – it’s sooooo cool.
In this scene John C. – who has suffered a stroke way earlier in the movie (something that will be delved into a little later) – shoots an antique gun off to alert his man-servant to the fact that he is having a heart attack. Whatever. I love that lamp.
So, next we will meander up the stairs in the house. I already showed you the bottom and top of the main staircase, and I didn’t do any grabs of the rooms (other than ones I will get in a sec – just be patient – I know I keep mentioning this “later” thing and it’s making you crazy – but just remember…you may just be too damn crazy to be crazy. God I love that line.
All I really have of interior shots (without people with stupid faces, that is) is this shot of the ceiling moulding. Very very nice.
So I’ll just sweep you along up to the attic entry – which is pretty freaking cool. It’s a floor/ceiling door. I’ve really only seen these used for cellars – so it’s kinda unique in my book.
The attic is filled with junk – which is pretty much attic paradise to me.
And speaking of junk – check out this stuff.
That little mini birdcage thing is so cool. That seems to be a somewhat common old-house-full-of-junk mascot – the old, out of use birdcage. I guess back in the olden days everyone had a bird in a cage till they figured out how lame it was then just stashed the cage in the attic or the cellar.
So, inside the attic is another staircase – a circular staircase that goes up to a tower.
And if there is one thing we can learn from The Nesting it is this…if your foot goes through the floor on the 4th story of a house, crawl through a window out onto a teeny ledge. That is always the best course of action.
While were out here hanging out on the teeny ledge I might as well show you some interesting features of the exterior. I don’t know what this ironwork is for over the round windows – other than the obvious decorative and impaling head purposes – but it’s cool.
Groovy shingle job too.
Here is a close up shot of some widows from the outside.
And a cool exterior light fixture.
There is also a pond on the property – yay!
Unfortunately there are dead people in it – boo!
And now we move on to the single most important part of the house. The kitchen. As you may know the cellar is usually right up there in importance for me – but sadly there is absolutely no mention or glimpse of a cellar in this movie (even though we all know in our heart of hearts that this house has a cellar!). So we just have to be content with some kitchen action – which is really kind of paltry – but there are some cool things going on.
There must be a lot of mashing of foods going on in that kitchen. I’ve mashed my share of foods in my life but have never felt the need to mash two separate foods simultaneously with two separate mashers.
And why keep the axe in the kitchen? I’m assuming this is an indication of chicken killing goings on – but I’ve never killed a chicken in the kitchen so I really don’t know what’s up with that.
BTW – check out the little chicken figurines above the potato mashers. Cute!
In the movie there is a scene in the kitchen where a cigarette is lit but no one is there. I not only love the insanely cool table and ashtray here but I also love the cigarette pack.
When I first started smoking at the age of 15 or 16 I inadvertently purchased a pack of filterless Lucky Strikes out of one of those old cigarette machines where you would pull the knob and it would release the pack. They were horrible – but I smoked them anyway and never forgot about them – mostly cause the pack was so freaking cool (I am clearly easily influenced by images of any kind). Many years later – in my 30s – I was living in Romania and Lucky Strikes were everywhere. I didn’t remember seeing them much in the US – so I bought some (lights, not filterless) and they became my brand while I was there. Then when I got back here I guess they had made this giant comeback cause there were everywhere here too. I quit smoking about 6 years ago or so, but I still love that freaking pack.
Ok – I just realized that I have the scan of the Lucky Strikes pack I brought back with me from Romania on my computer. That is either really funny or really sadly weird.
And you didn’t believe me when I said I scan everything. Heh. (That was a nervous laugh btw)
Ok – I think that the wandering through the cool house segment is done. We can now move on to the previously mentioned “other” part – which will be further split into 3 more categories, including: ridiculing the stupid faces these actors make, poking fun at the incredibly sub-par special effects, and rolling our eyes at the idiotically obvious ways this movie attempted to rip off Ghost Story.
We’ve already seen a stupid face that the tan-pantsed boyfriend makes – so let’s look at another…
Now you may be wondering why that guy is pretending that he is dressed in a bead curtain. I actually don’t know the answer to that question. What I do know is that the movie tried to be clever by choosing an object to use as a flashback-induction weapon – and just sort of bandies the curtain around for a while till we see the ending of the movie where it’s there and everything. Yay for being so clever, stupid movie. You rock. Here are some more clever bead curtain shots.
I didn’t get the final bead curtain shot (which is a woman grabbing it and pulling it down as she dies – wow) cause my internet connection was going kinda slow and I got bored with the whole stupid bead curtain subtext. Yeah, yeah, same bead curtain from dream. I get it.
Ok – more stupid faces! Here’s one of the main lady by the pond.
Is she about to sneeze? Maybe – but you may want to check out the review at Kindertrauma for a more plausible theory.
Here’s another great one…
This is the person that the comment “You’re too damn crazy to be crazy!” is directed at.
Is she? Too damn crazy?
No. She’s annoying as hell. If she was, in fact, too damn crazy to be crazy it might have made this movie a thousand, million times better. I love movies about crazy people. A lot. But she was nowhere near too damn crazy to be crazy. Not even plain old crazy or a even little bit crazy. Just annoying.
Next we visit with my favorite character in the movie. The only character I liked really. Everyone else either couldn’t act or had such poorly written dialogue and/or poor direction (most likely both) that they appeared like a foolish asshole in pretty much every scene. This guy was freaking great.
Need I say more?
Ok – this pic I need to preface with a bit of back story (SPOILER ALERT). Apparently the main woman is a victim of flashbacks because her mother was killed in this house and the ghosts of all the people who were killed are haunting her. In a pivotal scene we see the main lady talking to a ghost who tells her that one of the ghosts is her mother. The main lady and the ghost-mother are played by the same actor (actress, whatever) Robin Groves (but don’t look her up – there’s really no point) – which I have indicated below with a big green arrow.
The important part in all this is THAT WIG! WTF? Did they set aside like ten cents to purchase the wig with? You can see the actor’s real hair directly below the wigged version. I’m pretty sure that Robin Groves (as the ghost-mother) is thinking in this shot below “Oh no! Is that what my hair really looks like?”
I Wish I Was Ghost Story, But I’m Not
I know I’ve gone on longer that even remotely necessary with this post – but in all fairness, these blog posts are really more for me than you. You’re just along for the ride of your life, so to speak.
I will be quick here though and just quickly mention the many ways in which this 1981 movie ripped off the 1981 movie Ghost Story. How when they came out in the same year? I don’t know – but seriously! Check this out!
1. Stroke induced by seeing a lady – JC sees the main lady, is reminded of dead ghost-mother and has a stroke – see below for post stroke footage.
2. Main character is a writer – writer, professor…close enough – either way they both go to an old house that is important to their past or something. Hey, I said I wasn’t a movie critic!
3. Old house and olde timey car with young versions of characters killing young woman
4. Lady ghost in road with car approaching at fast speed (twice!)
5. Previously mentioned pond with bodies dumped in it
6. Climactic final-ish scene with (other) olde timey car – a scene which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever – btw.
7. And let’s not overlook the most obvious thing – that hair!
Alright. You’re made it with me this far and I’m really really proud of you – so I will reward you will some boobs.
There are a few dream/halucination/flashback scenes where there’s some sexy business. And as we shall see here some dreams are considerably sexier than other ones.
Some of your basic sexed-up goodness…
And here’s a sort of freaky-deaky sexed-up dream thing.
And finally a sexed-up, but not particularly sexy dream/hallucination thing…
that turns into a sexed-up, but not sexy and kinda confusing dream/hallucination…
that then becomes a mildly sexed-up, very unsexy reality situation.
Ok – I’m tired now. Enough already.