Don Stroud

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The Amityville Horror (1979) Review


OK
I'm a sucker for both haunted house movies and "true horror" stories, but as I was a mere eight years old when the original Amityville Horror was released, it had joined the kind of horror legendry of The Exorcist, Halloween, and Friday the 13th, all from its general era.

Amityville is based on the famous book of the same name -- a story which is shrouded in mystery and passed off as true. Here's what really happened: In 1974, the DeFeo family living at 112 Ocean Avenue, in Amityville, New York, were shot and killed while sleeping in their beds. The culprit was the son, who is still in prison for murdering six members of his family. The house was eventually sold, and in 1977 the Lutz family moved in. 28 days later, they fled the house in fear for their lives.

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Slacker Review


Extraordinary
To understand Slacker is to understand Austin. If you see the film and you don't enjoy it, you might consider a visit to the burg next time you're in Texas. Although the buildings are bigger, chain stores have replaced the indies, and the traffic is worse, Austin -- as a populace -- is a town that never changes, no matter what gets thrown at it.

I lived in Austin when Slacker was made in 1991 -- I was a junior at The University of Texas at the time, not cool enough to personally know anyone involved with the production but certainly aware of it when it came out. You couldn't avoid it: The film earned a miniscule release and was ignored at the national level, but in the town of Austin (population about 800,000 at the time), it got the red carpet treatement, playing in local theaters all year long.

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