Re-release poster for HOUSE (HAUSU), designed by Sam Smith.

Review: House/Hausu (1977)

by Aaron Vaccaro – Head Writer

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Best Bad Quote:

“No!  I like bananas!”

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I had never really considered what sheer delirium felt like until I saw Hausu.  This bat-shit crazy Japanese cult horror film feels like the fever dream of someone suffering from Typhoid fever, or someone who has over indulged on the mescalin.  What I’m trying to say is that Hausu is a fucking whacked out trip that your or my imagination would never be able to devise on our craziest of days.

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Oshare (Gorgeous) is excited about spending summer vacation with her father, until she finds out that his beautiful, freakishly serene girlfriend Ryouko would be going as well. Oshare decides she will be going to her aunt’s house in the country instead. She brings with her her friends from school – Fantasy (who likes to take pictures, and daydreams a lot), Kung-Fu (who has very good reflexes), Gari/Prof (who is a major nerd), Sweet (who likes to clean), Mac (who eats a lot), and Melody (a musician). However, the girls are unaware that Oshare’s aunt is actually dead and the house is actually haunted. When they arrive at the house, crazy events take place and the girls disappear one by one while slowly discovering the secret behind all the madness.

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Sounds like a fairly straightforward story right?  Well, trust me when I say that nothing about Hausu is straightforward.  Throughout the course of the film all I kept thinking was, “Oh, there’s no way they can do anything more ridiculous/ludicrous/insane than what I just—Oh wait, I was wrong.”  I’m not even copping out when I say that it’s difficult to try and even formulate a review of Hausu because it is so completely off the rails and fucking amazing.  I loved every single minute of it from the severed fingers playing the piano, to Blanche, the evil what cat, whose eyes light up like a disco ball, to the bizarre anime sequences that seemingly come out of nowhere.

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Run, don’t walk to see this movie.  You will not regret it and I guarantee that during your viewing of the film you will be left asking yourself one of the following:

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“Am I having a really fucked up dream right now?”

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“Did I eat a couple of grams of mushrooms that I don’t remember?”

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“The Japanese really are craziest fucking bastards on the face of the Earth aren’t they?”

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I’m actually ashamed of myself that I had never even heard of this movie until recently, but now I will most certainly be buying the Criterion Collection DVD just so I can have the opportunity of watching my friend’s minds melt when they experience HAAAAAUUUUUSSSSUUUUU!

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Rating:

5 out of 5 Ass Bitin’ Severed Heads

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