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HOUSE II: THE SECOND STORY - 2 Slimes
Rated PG-13
Copyright 1987 New World Pictures
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 27 October 2007

The Characters:  

  • Jesse - Orphaned, lost one girlfriend when she moved, dumped by his latest girlfriend, fell out of a huge tree, and shot twice. This guy is having a rough life.
  • Charlie - Obnoxious character who hangs around with Jesse.
  • Gramps - Jesse's great great grandfather whose first name is also Jesse. He has the patience of Job. Passes away of a gunshot wound.
  • Kate & Jana - The ex-girlfriends of the two main characters. Kate's eyes are striking. Unfortunately, the same could be said of her hand and her foot.
  • Jake - Bill Maher! He was looking for a way to steal Kate away from Jesse. A sauced young lady, secret door, and capricious baby pterosaur provide him with the perfect setup.
  • Bill - John Ratzenberger! Coolest electrician ever.
  • Aztec Maiden - A virgin. (I think Jesse deserves one, don't you?)
  • Caveman - Large enough to give Jason Voorhees a run for his money, but not large enough to be much trouble for a dinosaur. Munched.
  • Aztecs - They wanted the skull so that they could sacrifice virgins to it. Possessing an object that requires you to sacrifice virgins seems like a bad idea. At least, that is my take. All of them are dispatched, some straight into a chasm.
  • Slim - Revenant who used to be Gramps' partner, until the darned old polecat tried to shoot Gramps. Blasted to pieces by Jesse and police officers.

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The Plot: 

It is late at night when a car pulls up to the eccentric mansion that will become the focus of our movie. Jesse's mother and father carry him out to the vehicle and hand the infant off to the owners of the automobile. The relationship between the two couples is never explained, but it is obviously family or close friends. Little Jesse is dropped into the car, probably to roll around on the back seat as it navigates the dark California roads. In spite of his precarious existence as an infant in 1960, Jesse outlives his parents. Both are killed by a shadowy figure armed with a pistol and possessing supernatural powers.

Flash forward 25 years. The infant we saw moments before has grown into a man and he has come home to the old mansion. Dust and cobwebs aside, the interior decor of the place distresses Kate to no end. She is put off by the mixture of dark wood and Aztec stonework that gives the home a unique atmosphere. Cleaning the stone carvings as part of the weekly housework would be a serious endeavor since dusting them might require scaffolding and a leaf blower. Unusual decor sets the estate apart from other locations, so the odd choice of motif is something we need to accept. You cannot imagine them making a movie like this in a double wide trailer, can you?

Soon after moving in, Jesse and Kate are blessed with a visit by Charlie and his latest girlfriend, Jana. The new pair is a distraction, to understate the effect they have on things around them. They are the type of people who are always doing something loud, irresponsible, or potentially hazardous to other persons or property. Jesse suffers his "friend's" presence well. He retreats to the basement and spends hours sorting through stacks of old photographs and books.

Personally, I would have beat Charlie to death with an axe handle and then buried him in the weeds behind the house, but that is just me.

Among the dusty photographs is a picture of Jesse's great great grandfather, a rogue archaeologist, holding a crystal skull. It is different from the crystal skull that is on display in a museum. Obviously, Gramps' skull is a separate legendary artifact; one rumored to have magical powers. If the museum skull is an inert curio, what happened to the real one? Obvious answer: it was buried with Gramps. His grave is on the property, so both men grab shovels and get to work. An undead apparition rises out of the unearthed coffin, hideously grinning through a golden Aztec mask. The amateur grave robbers are about to become professional corpses when Jesse collects his wits enough to tell Gramps that they are related. With the old man out of the grave, their problem switches to one of sleeping arrangements and keeping him out of trouble (Charlie is no help, because he has the hilarious tendency to drive drunk).

Are you telling me that Gramps spent all those years in that box without so much as a pocket scrabble set? I am in awe of the man, because that sort of boredom would drive me screaming mad after the first year or two.

The skull, along with preserving his life far beyond its normal span, was supposed to rejuvenate Gramps. He is mortified that he looks his age. Since Gramps is one hundred and seventy, that means that most people might find his appearance frightening. Actually, I think that your average person on the street would run screaming away from the undead horror. That changes when Charlie "accidentally" throws a Halloween costume party. Now Gramps can get out and boogie without being noticed.

Parties have a tendency to go sour and this one is no exception. And, wouldn't you know it, the cause is an uninvited guest. A massive caveman pushes his way through the revelers and steals the skull after bashing Gramps aside. Turns out that possessing the magical artifact is risky business; the forces of evil are always trying to steal it. Without the magical skull to preserve his life, Gramps is a goner. Jesse and Charlie grab an Uzi from the latter's car and dive into a room upstairs that has become a primitive jungle. Their encounter with the caveman goes less than swimmingly, but an auspicious intervention by the Jurassic equivalent of a musk rat (they sure grew them big back then) saves the day. Then the skull is snatched by a pterosaur and dropped into the creature's nest. Jesse climbs up the tree and encounters a newly hatched pterosaur. That is not so bad, if you consider something with a foot of beak trying to nip you a minor inconvenience. Bad is when the adult pterosaur returns. Both men, the skull, Petri...er - the baby pterosaur, and a dog caterpillar fall through the jungle floor and wind up in the basement.

While his friend is being attacked, Charlie waves the Uzi around. He was probably wishing for a shotgun, instead of a submachine gun. What do you use for pterosaurs anyway? 00 buckshot stuffed into a 40mm grenade shell?

The skull is in Gramps' hands for a very short period before Aztecs steal it again. To get it back, Jesse, Charlie, and an oddball electrician named Bill arm themselves with swords and go through a hole in the wall. Bill seems to know what he is doing, especially since he keeps a cutlass in his toolkit. However, the other two worry me with those swords. Take it as me insinuating that they did not appear to be very coordinated earlier. Individuals like this, who are clumsy, know that they are clumsy, but still insist on engaging in swordfights with Aztec warriors, are why I refuse to become an insurance salesman.

Watching bad movies has ruined a couple of professions for me. Take for instance Summer Camp Counselor. No way.

Having recovered the skull from the Aztecs (along with a virginal maiden - quite a nice souvenir there), the assembled group sits down to have dinner together. Slim emerges from the main course and shoots Gramps. Then, despite being the only one with a firearm, the undead antagonist takes the virgin hostage and makes a clean getaway with the skull. Charlie also gets himself captured, so it is up to Jesse to save the day.

At the end of the movie, did anyone else wonder if Charlie died of dysentery and the Aztec Maiden drowned while trying to cross a river?

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Badmovies.org House II: The Second Story


Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Under the right circumstances, an ironing board can cause a concussion.
  • California funeral services strictly follow Aztec customs.
  • Do not dig up your great great grandfather.
  • It helps to have a friend who keeps illegal firearms in his vehicle.
  • Dogs are descended from caterpillars.
  • Electricians are a secret society of time traveling adventurers, like the Illuminati.
  • Gunfighters always fall for the old "And the flowers are still standing!" tablecloth trick.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 11 mins - Painful singing and dancing scene alert.
  • 22 mins - Why, you do not look a day over one hundred and fifty...
  • 28 mins - Not much of a chance for reconciliation in that sort of situation.
  • 38 mins - Save your ammo; they all become extinct anyway.
  • 52 mins - "Yeah, well, get the hell out of my house!"
  • 54 mins - I think it wants you to chew up the steak for it, then spit the masticated meat into its upturned beak.
  • 60 mins - RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A LIGHT BULB!
  • 74 mins - Be glad that Roy Rogers did not know voodoo. This could have been the result.
  • 81 mins - What you should have asked Gramps is this: "Are you really me? Is Charlie actually Slim?" Or do you look forward to shooting Charlie and leaving him in the desert?

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

FileDialog
Green Music Note houseii1.wav Jesse: "Legend has it that there was a second skull that had untold powers that could unlock the mysteries of the universe and bring eternal life to those who possessed it. So, question is: if this is the legendary second skull, where is it?"
Green Music Note houseii2.wav Gramps: "Remember boys, this house is a temple, as fantastic as any pyramid or castle you'll ever see. It don't know time or space or any of that hogwash, but the forces of evil are always after this skull and you gotta help me to protect it. So don't let no one touch the danged thing. Ya hear?"
Green Music Note houseii3.wav Gramps: "I'm a hundred and seventy-year-old fart. A God damned zombie!"
Charlie: "Well, um, you look really good for a hundred and seventy-year-old zombie, Gramps. Really great..."
Green Music Note houseii4.wav Bill: "There it is. Looks like you got some kind of alternate universe in there or something."

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 

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 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Cliphouseii1.mpg - 4.0m
Jesse is fed up with hiding the truth from Kate and the others. He opens the closet to show them Gramps. Unfortunately, his inebriated ex-girlfriend is in there. Katie responds as expected, Jana slaps Charlie for good measure, and Jake continues to act like a pompous jerk. Best part about this is him opening the cabinet to show them the baby pterosaur, but everyone has already stormed out of the room.

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Comments:Write CommentPages: [1]
Re: House II: The Second Story
Reply #1. Posted on October 27, 2007, 09:51:45 AM by Doc Daneeka
I liked Charlie, in part because he is the subject of one of my favorite death scenes in FRIGHT NIGHT Smile.

I think that this movie could have been better, the way both the caveman and the aztecs took the skull it could have been a chapter play! Honestly, if Jesse lost the skull the first time and then discovered it had been found in another time period it would have been much more interesting!

The electrician was an excellent character (second time a Cheers co-star has starred in a House film!), but he seemed superfluous, he should have either been there more, or not been there at all really. It would have been pretty funny to see Jesse and Charlie try and do the wiring themselves Drink

So I take it the ending was a looper? Obviously Jesse shares the name of his great-great-grandpa, and his great-great-grandpa was also a Jesse. Charlie looked pretty slim to me. We can only hope that with the crystal skull gone there will be less trouble for their descendants. I should listen to the commentary.

Ermm, some problems with the review (Don't hit meh!), in the credits, the caveman's name is "Arnold the Barbarian", and I think you should maybe mention in the character sheet that both rivals happen to be living mummies, eh?
Re: House II: The Second Story
Reply #2. Posted on October 27, 2007, 12:25:45 PM by Joe the Destroyer
I enjoyed this film, but I still like the first one with William Katz and Richard Moll a lot more.  It's not quite as WTF, but it does have some good monster effects in it. 
Re: House II: The Second Story
Reply #3. Posted on October 30, 2007, 07:03:23 PM by oxode
Just by the way, I think it should be mentioned, that Gramps is no one less than Royal Dano, who had performed well for over 40!! years on TV and cinema. The Red Badge of Courage was his first big movie.
Re: House II: The Second Story
Reply #4. Posted on November 15, 2007, 04:39:18 PM by Giant Claw Jr
The little prehistoric bird was pretty funny when he feed it the steak to make it give up the skull and when he runs out the bird replays with a WHAT?!
Re: House II: The Second Story
Reply #5. Posted on November 17, 2007, 05:43:02 AM by Sosen!
I can't believe how little credit has been given to the genius of Bill the Electrician! anyone who's a fan of Buckaroo Banzai would really enjoy certain parts of this movie, namely Bill's scene.

an earlier commenter said Bill seemed unnecessary- but that's the genius of it all. it's not just his character that is so great, but it's his timing in the film. he has about five minutes of screen time which starts about 60 minutes into it. he acts like he's a major character who's been in the film the whole time and you're expected to know who he is. it at first I thought he was some character from another movie who was making some kind of weird guest appearance.

P.S. no offense or anything, but I thought this was a very poor review. it just kind of rolls through the plot without describing a lot of the oddities and great jokes. it doesn't really give a picture of what the movie is actually like. not to mention that it barely mentions Bill. better than I could do, I've got to admit, but i dont read reviews to flatter myself.  Wink
Re: House II: The Second Story
Reply #6. Posted on September 28, 2008, 10:24:48 PM by Giant Claw Jr
That one zombie looks like the villian TEX HEX from that cartoon BRAVE STAR
Re: House II: The Second Story
Reply #7. Posted on December 23, 2011, 02:27:10 AM by ChunkeeOne
This is still one of my favourite movies to this day. It confused me that it had nothing to do with the first one... especially in that the skull was haunted and not necessarily the house. And it wasn't really even haunted, it was just coveted. And it didn't really make sense that Jessie's parents were killed by Slim when they didn't have the skull. And then nothing mystical happened to Jessie's little posse until he got the skull.

That could be said for all of the House movies though. How many had something to do with one another? I think it was only two out of all the sequels. 

But yeah... Great movie! 
Re: House II: The Second Story
Reply #8. Posted on Today at 02:37:42 PM by WhiteGirl
it was okay i guess.

charlie can perish in hell, i agree.

i think a better plot would have been to completely eradicate it and substitute it with a plot following the electricians life instead, who i believe could have been a Ghostbuster at one point.

why did they leave the pure crystal skull with two precious diamonds on it, on an open field in the middle of a period where lots of money could have been traded for it? what happened to the caterpillar dog? are they drinking enough water? did anyone even bring condoms???

i just don't know.
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