There are a hundred things wrong with It’s My Party and I’ll Die If I Want To—and I still dug it. Director and writer (also editor, composer, and several other titles) Tony Wash had the brass to make his film on a budget so puny you can practically hear the car washes, garage sales, and bake sales (not to mention the ringing of credit cards) that went into the financing. There are continuity errors, mushy sound, community theater acting, and it looks like it was shot on a flip cam. Even so, Wash and his cohorts have some audacity and style. True, it’s a young Sam Raimi’s style, but nonetheless…

Sarah (Adrienne Fischer) thinks her friends have forgotten her 18th birthday. Geez, how could they forget? It’s on Halloween! And that means a costume party in an old house with a sinister reputation. Part of that reputation, truthfully, should be because of its periodic ability to drastically change size and shape. The interior layout of “Burkitt Manor” is incomprehensible.

It turns out Sarah’s bland assortment of acquaintances have hit upon the brilliant idea of rigging up the old Burkitt Manor (where in either 1908 or 1930 a despotic husband beat his family into steak tartare) as a spook house to scare the bejeebers out of her. (Who knew kids were so motivated?) After 67 or so slow exposition scenes, the Karo syrup starts to fly, and the evil spirit of the house takes possession of young schmuck Travis (Oliver Lucach) and the body count clock is ticking. Fortunately, we learn (in a training scene that includes a shower interlude—good call, Tony) Sarah is an expert in martial arts and her friends thoughtfully chipped in to buy her a katana! So we get a savage kung fu showdown—with the plucky Sarah dressed as Elvira—in addition to buckets of viscera and even a little gratuitous nudity (good instincts, Tony).

It’s My Party and I’ll Die If I Want To is an amateur (student?) production with a capital “A”, even with a Tom Savini cameo. But Wash and his team work hard to get most of the details right. And he borrows liberally from Raimi (the main creature is pretty much a Deadite), George Romero (The EC Comics segues are straight out of Creep Show), John Carpenter, and even Tarantino, which should be enough for horror geeks to suck on like an all-day lollipop. It was for me, anyway. Someone give that kid a few bucks, eh?

Advertisements