Now I get it! DON’T OPEN THE DOOR is on my list of films I always fish for on YouTube and always fail to catch. Then the other night, there it was just staring me in the face like it was there all along claiming to have been posted more than a year ago. How is that possible? Turns out I have been searching for it with the year 1975 attached while the YouTube video says 1974. I guess that’s why it never got stuck in my net. Well, IMDb agrees with ‘74, I have no idea where I got ‘75 from and to make matters muddier the actual film sports ‘79 in its opening credits. Are we talking when it was made or when it was released? I’m confused enough to stop pretending that I have any concept of time in the first place. The important thing is that I got to see this movie again! DON’T OPEN THE DOOR was directed by the always interesting independent filmmaker S.F. BROWNRIGG whose first film DON’T LOOK IN THE BASEMENT (1973) haunted late night airwaves throughout my youth. I had seen DOOR once before on VHS and although the entire film hadn’t rocked my world, I was wowed by its climax which took place in a lighthouse-like crow’s nest cupola complete with colored glass windows. It stuck in my head.
But how did I forget the film’s opening credits? How? It consists of an assortment of creepy dolls standing in a black void and it is the swellest thing ever. Maybe I blocked it out because I wasn’t cool enough to appreciate the awesomeness yet. That must be it. Oh geez, I wasn’t ready for any of this movie back then! That was before I realized that the best plot in the world concerns a young lady returning to her childhood home where she once witnessed a parent being murdered. Why are movies ever about anything else? It also doesn’t hurt that our main lady (SUSAN BRACKEN) acts like a cross between NAOMI WATTS in MULHOLLAND DRIVE and a petulant LINDA BLAIR or that the entire film looks like the grooviest candy-coated art flick that CINDY SHERMAN forgot to make. I’m probably not the best person to speak on the subject of feminism because my favorite Spice Girl is Baby Spice (I know Sporty has better pipes but did she attempt an awesome ode to Carol Anne from POLTERGEIST?), but somebody really should write a term paper about how every menacing man in this movie tries to get our heroine to bend to their will only to get a full blast of her nuclear ire instead. Sure, madness is her only reward and that’s the same resigning towel THE YELLOW WALLPAPER threw in.
What on Earth am I talking about? I should say that there is a legitimate swampy ten minutes of redundancy that you have to drag yourself through to get to the glorious denouement but don’t cry during that part, just use that opportunity to make yourself a tuna fish sandwich. Put pickles on it, that’s what I did. If your refrigerator does not offer pickles, push it out the door and buy a new one.