Combustible Celluloid
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With: Ami Dolenz, Christopher Michael Moore, Laraine Newman, Timothy Gibbs, John Gatins, Julie Michaels, Sarah Kaite Coughlan, Marvin Kaplan, Jeff Feringa, Todd Allen, Kenny Rhodes, Heather Elizabeth Parkhurst
Written by: Kevin Tenney
Directed by: Kevin Tenney
MPAA Rating: R for horror violence and language
Running Time: 98
Date: 09/10/1993

Witchboard 2: The Devil's Doorway (1993) (1993)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Ouija Massacre

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

I believe I might once have seen Witchboard (1986) on VHS video a long time ago, but now I can't remember a frame of it. When this sequel showed up on Blu-ray, however, the picture on the cover was enough to convince me to give it a shot. (That, aside from my lifetime love for cheesy horror movies.)

What drew me into the movie, and what kept me going, I'm sad to say was the extraordinary beauty of star Ami Dolenz, who is -- yes -- the daughter of Micky Dolenz of the 1960s pop group the Monkees. She also appeared on TV's "General Hospital," as well as in Can't Buy Me Love (1987), She's Out of Control (1989), Ticks (1993), and Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings (1994). She hasn't acted in a few years, and (sigh) she's married. I can't say she's the greatest actor in the world -- she tended to yell a bit too loudly when communicating with the spirits through the Ouija Board -- she's sure lovely and charming. I guess I'm pretty shallow.

The plot has Paige (Dolenz) moving into the apartment occupied formerly occupied by the previous owner of said Ouija Board. I guess we're meant to think there's a connection with Witchboard, but that character was "Linda Brewster," played by Tawny Kitaen, and this one is referred to as "Susan Sydney." Paige finds the Ouija in her closet and begins communicating with Susan, who apparently is asking for help in solving her murder and finding her body.

It grows more complicated than that, and there's a twist, but in the meantime we meet some goofy characters. Paige's ex-boyfriend is a possessive and sometimes violent cop, Mitch (Timothy Gibbs), who keeps trying to impress her. She befriends a photographer, Russel (John Gatins), who seems like new boyfriend material. The building's super is a tubby womanizer (Christopher Michael Moore) who swigs from a flask and eventually gets attacked by flying sawblades. And, best of all, his wife is a spacey hippie, Elaine (Laraine Newman).

They all run around trying to solve the mystery of Susan. There are a few scenes in the woods, a supernatural showdown, and a scene wherein a ghost takes control of Mitch's vehicle that had me in stitches. At the very least, the makers of Witchboard 2: The Devil's Doorway seem to have been good sports about it. They knew what we wanted to see and they provided it, even if the quality is not great, and there's not much skill involved.

Olive Films released the DVD and Blu-ray. Normally, their discs have no extras, but this one contains a plethora. There's a commentary track with writer/director Kevin Tenney and actors John Gatins and Julie Michaels (who plays the ghost of Susan), and there's a vintage making-of featurette, deleted scenes, trailers and TV spots. Fans of ridiculous 1980s or 1990s horror need to check this out.

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