Cellar Dweller (1988)

Starring Debrah Farentino, Yvonne De Carlo, Brian Robbins, Pamela Bellwood, Miranda Wilson, Vince Edwards, Jeffrey Combs, Floyd Levine, Michael Deak

Directed by John Carl Buechler

Expectations: I’m optimistic, but cautious.

On the general scale:
onehalfstar

On the B-Movie scale:
twohalfstar


Cellar Dweller tells the story of an ancient demon summoned into a cabin basement by the satanic dabblings of comic book creator Jeffrey Combs. He’s using a Necronomicon-style tome to help him with book ideas and evidently that ain’t a good idea. He draws the monster killing a young female, and before he knows it, an eight-foot-tall monster is behind him murdering a scantily clad screaming girl. This short opening sequence not only sets up the remaining film, but foreshadows most of the rest of the movie.

This film uses the traditional “people stuck in a location” horror motif, but turns it on its head as the people aren’t actually stuck. There’s no bridge/road washed out, no thunderous storm of the century, no evil horde of assaulting monsters on the other side of every door. The people can leave at any time, but inexplicably they never do. This cabin in the woods where they all find themselves (and where Jeffrey Combs had his intro run-in with the monster) is now doing business as “Throckmorton, Institute for the Arts” run by the lone staff member, Mrs. Briggs (The Munster’s Yvonne De Carlo).

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