I recommend this film to anyone who wants to laugh until their stomach muscles ache. I first saw it, about 10 years ago, at a screening at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, presented by Bill Landis, author of Sleazoid Express, an excellent book on exploitation cinema. "Modern Art" aptly describes this shot-on-video time capsule of awful early-1980s clothing, hairstyles, computer graphics, and extremely cheesy music and pathetic "special effects". The end result?
A masterpiece of horror that defies description. Throw in the most ridiculous script, dialogue and acting outside of an Ed Wood or H.G. Lewis film -- and you're in for a wild ride! We were falling out of our seats at the SF MOMA, shaking with uncontrollable laughter, and dumbstruck with awe that Boardinghouse was ever made, that it actually existed in the same universe as our own.
A recent (shaky) on-camera interview with director Wintergate and star Kalassu is interesting chiefly for their attempt to convince us that the film was meant to be a spoof -- and that their efforts at parody were overruled by the producer, who apparently believe Boardinghouse would work better as a serious horror movie! I'm not sure what to believe.
The transfer quality is about what you'd expect -- high-def digital video cameras didn't exist in 1982 -- and the filmmakers claim this was shot in "broadcast-quality" video, then transferred to 35mm celluloid for theatrical projection. Huh. Most of it still manages to look as if they used consumer-grade equipment typical of the time. This disc was apparently transferred off the original video source material, so it's certainly watchable (as well as laughable).
Don't take my word for it: rent or buy this movie, and you will realize that your life could never be complete until you've seen Boardinghouse -- and stay with it right until the mind-melting, soul-shattering, bloodcurdling finale: FOCUS! WHITE LIGHT! FOCUS! WHITE LIGHT!