Nixon On the Loose – Horror House on Highway Five (1985)

Though Horror House on Highway Five is eminently watchable, it is definitely not all that good as far as slashers go. If there was one thing that was holding it back, it was writer and director Richard Casey trying to inject a little comedy into the proceedings and while it would never ultimately work, at the very least it turned out to be weirdly entertaining.

It all begins with some students doing a little investigation about a scientist who worked with V-2 rockets and heading to a small town to do so. While two of them head off to do as such, another comes into contact with a pair of brothers who might have some information on the subject as they are the sons of the very same Nazi scientist. As it turns out, Dad is still alive and killing people in a Richard Nixon mask and his boys are just as psychotic, Mabuse thinking there are bugs in his brain while Gary is mentally handicapped and willing to do anything Mabuse says, including murder.

Despite piquing the curiosity of the audience and managing to hold it through the majority of the picture, Casey fails to drum up enough horror to make it all worth the while. The demented brothers are interesting as one never really knows what they are going to do, but if there is one for sure thing, it is that they are going to kill someone and most likely the young woman they kidnapped at the beginning fo the picture. As for Nixon, though he is a little foreboding and nobody in their right mind wants to have the former president be the one responsible for their deaths, he is not all that frightening and should have been built up more than he was as in the end, the impact he made was very little.  There was quite a bit of blood here and there and a few people did manage to take a permanent dirt nap, but it seemed more humdrum than anything else.

Suffice it to say, the movie was a strange trip to take and those who seek out this forgotten gem will find not only a somewhat incoherent storyline with a bit of bad dialogue but a soundtrack that has to be heard to be believed. Again, it is not a bad slasher, but neither is it a good one, though once it begins, it is very hard to quit.  Twenty-nine years later, Casey would make a sequel in name only called Horror House on Highway 6.

2 out of 5

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