Spirits (1990, directed by Fred Olen Ray)

In this sex-filled take on The Haunting of Hill House, Robert Quarry leads a group of researchers to a haunted house. Amy Goldwyn (Brinke Stevens) is the smart psychic who knows the house isn’t safe but who still gets possessed by a demon and ends up hammering a nail through her palm. Beth (Kathrin Lautner) is the self-described “bitch” who has a lesbian past because this is a direct-to-video 90s film. Harry (Oliver Darrow) is the cocky womanizer who gets seduced by a succubus. The house is haunted by the spirit of a fallen priest and his demonic nuns. Only another priest, Father Anthony Vicci (Erik Estrada!), can save the researchers but that holy water that he’s carrying around is only going to work if he regains his faith and seeks forgiveness for his past sins.

As far as I know, Spirits is only available on VHS. So, if you do watch it, you’re going to need a VCR that works. Considering how easily an old VCR can break down and how it’s nearly impossible to get them repaired, you’re going to need to realize that Spirits could very well be the last tape you ever watch on the old machine. Do you want to take the risk? I took the risk and, for what it is, Spirits is not that bad. It’s a Fred Olen Ray films and it’s got Brinke Stevens and Michelle Bauer in it so you know what you’re going to get. Still, after I finished it, I realized that, if Spirits had been the last thing I ever watched on that old VCR, I would have been pissed. If my VCR is going to break, I’d rather it break while I was watching a tape full of hours of Must See TV from 1996.

Spirits has a few things to recommend it. Brinke Stevens was one of the best of the direct-to-video scream queens and she actually does give a “real” performance as Amy. The sight of Erik Estrada, playing a tortured a priest as if he was a character on a particularly racy telenovela, was certainly entertaining. Finally, there was Count Yorga himself, Robert Quarry, as the main ghost hunter. Otherwise, Spirits is a typical direct-to-video Fed Olen Ray film, with cheesy music, terrible special effects, and laughable dialogue. There’s a lot of nudity, of course but you can find the same amount of nudity in films that you can safely watch on DVD or Blu-ray. If you’re going to risk the VCR, the movie is going to need to have more to offer.

One response to “Spirits (1990, directed by Fred Olen Ray)

  1. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 10/18/21 — 10/24/21 | Through the Shattered Lens

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