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Attack of the 31 Nights of Halloween Movie List.
Follow along with us for a month full of classic and fun spooky movies. Each night there will be a movie review of the next movie on our Halloween Movie List. Leave a comment on each post with your opinion of that movie. On the last day you will find the magic phrase you will use to unlock the entry worth 25 entries in the giveaway. You must comment on each post.
Night 21 - The Amityville Horror
Tagline - "For God's Sake, Get Out!"
Directed by Stuart Rosenberg (Cool Hand Luke and Brubaker) and released on July 27, 1979 by American International Pictures (rated R). When the Lutz family (James Brolin and Margot Kidder) moves in to their dream house they have no idea the Hell that awaits them. As strange events start to happen the family is desperate to save their house and their sanity.
When I was in the 6th grade this book was a huge best seller. Everyone was reading it. One girl had a copy and it got passed around the school. The part I remember reading was the room with all the flys! Everything about it was scary and creepy and it was suppose to be based on the true events of this family.
I saw the movie many years later and I still think it's creepy and scary. By now the book has been debunked as a work of fiction and not true at all. But I did see something on TV once night that had the son on it who still swears that it was true.
One true thing is that a mass murder did happen in the house. That alone is enough for me to believe that there could be something wrong with living in that house! Besides, the house has eyes!!! It's just wrong.
If you haven't seen it give it a try. I still think the original tops the 2005 remake. The remake was a good effort but just fell short. If you like to read definitely read the book. True or not it's a scary read.
Take a look at the original trailer
Some trivia about the movie
1. Due to all the unwanted fame the book and film had brought upon the real house in Amityville, the current owners have replaced the "evil eyes" windows with normal rectangle-shaped windows.
2. At the time of its release the film was one of the highest grossing independent films of all time and American International Pictures' biggest hit.
3. While shooting the scene where Kathy is startled by the red eyes in the window, director Stuart Rosenberg wasn't impressed by Margot Kidder's reaction. According to Kidder, Rosenberg then tried to hold up a "a day-glo orange stuffed velour pig with glass eyes" in an attempt to startle Kidder. She said the result was only hysterical laughter, not fear.
4. Stars James Brolin and Margot Kidder visited the real Amityville house as part of a publicity junket.
5. Contrary to popular belief, Lalo Schifrin's score for this film was not the legendary rejected score composed for The Exorcist. The rejected Exorcist score has subsequently been released on CD and is completely different in every respect.
6. The outdoor scenes of the movie were not filmed in Amityville, Long Island, but rather Toms River, New Jersey. Local police and ambulance workers played extras.
7. This film's theatrical success was followed by two theatrically released sequels - Amityville II: The Possession an official sequel/prequel; Amityville 3-D, not an official sequel; and five direct-to-video low-budget sequels released from 1989 to 1996. Then there's The Amityville Horror, based on the book written by Jay Anson.
8. Jay Anson who wrote the book "The Amityville Horror" actually wrote out a screenplay for this film only for the producers to turn it down. Eventually they found Sandor Stern and liked his take on it so he was hired for the job.
9. The Toms River, New Jersey volunteer Fire Company Number One was used to provide the "rain" during one of the exterior scenes. If you look closely, you can see that it is sunny and not "raining" in the background, the next street over.
10. Even though James Brolin became friendly with George Lutz and his children, he was highly doubtful of their story.
11. James Brolin said he didn't get a job for two years after doing this movie because of the cruelty of his character.
12. Shot in seven weeks.
13. In hopes of creating more publicity for the film the studio would concoct stories of "weird" occurrences on the set of the film.
14. Honey was rubbed on Rod Steiger's head to draw the flies to him.
15. James Brolin's brother was actually used for the image of the bearded man seen appearing from the 'red room' in the cellar. The studio wanted someone who bore a close resemblance to James Brolin and discovered he had a brother who shared a strong resemblance to the star. Brolin's brother was applied with a fake beard for the bit part.
16. The film was originally planned to be a made-for-TV production for the CBS network, until executive producer Sam Arkoff bought the rights after reading Jay Anson's book in one sitting.
17. In 1979, attorney William Weber (Ronald DeFeo's defense attorney) filed a lawsuit against George and Kathy Lutz, charging them with fraud and breach of contract. He alleged that they reneged on an agreement to collaborate with Weber on the book (and subsequent movie). In an interview with the Associated Press, Weber admitted that he and the Lutzes had concocted the horror story scam "...over many bottles of wine."
18. The church in the movie is St. Peter's church in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ, about 20 miles north of the movie house in Toms River. They also used the park across the street from the church, Pleasure Park, for the priest playing basketball scene. They used local kids as players, and had to ask them to take it easy and let the priest get the ball from time to time.