Amityville II: The Possession (1982)

Kaskade1309

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Title: Amityville II: The Possession

Tagline: In "The Amityville Horror", the Lutzes got out of this house alive. This family was not so lucky.

Genre: Horror

Director: Damiano Damiani

Cast: James Olson, Burt Young, Rutanya Alda, Jack Magner, Andrew Prine, Diane Franklin, Moses Gunn, Ted Ross, Erika Katz, Brent Katz, Leonardo Cimino, Danny Aiello III, Gilbert Stafford, Petra Leah, Alan Dellay, Martin Donegan, John Ring, Peter Radon, Lawrence Bolen, Tony Boschetti, John Clohessy, Hollis Granville, Frank Patton III, Kim H. Ornitz, Lindsay Hill, Rudy Jones, Todd Jamie, Ken Smith, Anita Keal, Sondra Lee, Alice Playten

Release: 1982-09-24

Runtime: 104

Plot: Eager to start afresh, the unsuspecting couple of Anthony and Dolores Montelli, along with their four children, move into their dream house in Amityville. However, right from the very first night, strange paranormal experiences shatter the Montellis' fantasy, as the restless spirits of the dead and the new home's dark secrets open the unfathomable black portal of hell. Now, the family's older child, Sonny, has become the perfect vessel of destruction, as the invisible demonic forces claim his soul. Can Father Frank Adamsky cleanse the infernal Amityville House?

Terrible movie. For a haunted house movie, I'll stick with the original 1979 "Amityville Horror", 1982 "Amityville 2: The possession" and 1980 "The Changeling"
I absolutely LOVE the Amityville films, having grown up near the real house in New York and being smitten with the stories surrounding both the De Feo and Lutz cases; and Amityville II is one of my all-time favorite films...just watched it as part of the DVD box set MGM put out around '04 or so.
 

Kaskade1309

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I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say that. I recall it being insufferable. But hey, More power to you. ;)
Well, it's not everyone's cup of tea, and it does take some wild liberties with the De Feo story...but it's one of my favorite horror flicks, always was.

You can find plenty of folks who love this film if you search around and look at, say, reviews of the Shout Factory box set of the Amityville Trilogy.

At any rate, thanks for your permission to enjoy this! :thumbs-up-smiley:
 
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TravisR

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I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say that. I recall it being insufferable. But hey, More power to you. ;)
Amityville II has gotten something of a cult following over the last few years. I assume that's largely because the majority of the movie's creative team was Italian so it plays like an Italian horror movie of the era. I don't particularly care for it but if someone was into wild movies that played on 42nd Street back in 1982, I can understand how they'd dig it.
 
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Tino

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Amityville II has gotten something of a cult following over the last few years. I assume that's largely because the majority of the movie's creative team was Italian so it plays like an Italian horror movie of the era. I don't particularly care for it but if someone was into wild movies that played on 42nd Street back in 1982, I can understand how they'd dig it.
To be honest I don’t think I’ve seen it since my theatrical viewing in 1982. I’ll need to revisit. All I remember is Burt Young, incest and nudity. ;)
 
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Kaskade1309

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Amityville II has gotten something of a cult following over the last few years. I assume that's largely because the majority of the movie's creative team was Italian so it plays like an Italian horror movie of the era. I don't particularly care for it but if someone was into wild movies that played on 42nd Street back in 1982, I can understand how they'd dig it.
I wasn't into wild films that played on 42nd Street back in 82, but I still dig it; the film exhibits a rawness and brash quality that makes it known it isn't ashamed of itself, something the first film from Stuart Rosenberg didn't do. I am unsure how many Italian creative team members beyond Damiani, the director, were involved, but I can tell you that the screenplay was adapted by none other than Tommy Lee Wallace (who would go on to direct Halloween III that same year) from Hans Holzer's book Murder in Amityville.

Here's another tidbit of trivia a lot of folks who reviewed this film for, say, the Scream Factory box set never got their head around (based on what I've read): This is supposed to be a prequel -- greenlit by Orion Pictures, originally -- that loosely tells the story of the De Feos, who inhabited the house before the Lutzes, and even though their debacle in Amityville took place in the 1970s, Amityville II is set in modern time...which, at the time of release, was 1982. So it's often been criticized by reviewers that technology such as the Sony Walkman Jack Magner's character is using in the film was not available or even invented, and that this disqualifies it from being even remotely acceptable as "genuine" -- while that's true (that this kind of tech wasn't available or the model years of the cars being shown -- specifically the early-1980s generation Lincoln Continental in the Montelli family's driveway -- weren't around), again, Damiani didn't intend to set the film in the 70s.
 
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Kaskade1309

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Yo be honest I don’t think I’ve seen it since my theatrical viewing in 1982. I’ll need to revisit. All I remember is Burt Young, incest and nudity. ;)
Maybe you should revisit it, then, before accusing others of enjoying it to the point that you felt it necessary to state you had never heard anyone say it was one of their favorite films. You may not even find it "insufferable."
 
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Tino

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So you're actually admitting you were permitting someone to like this because you believed it to be reprehensible....interesting.
Dude chill. Do you seriously not get the intended humor? Including the smileys??
 

Colin Jacobson

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Yo be honest I don’t think I’ve seen it since my theatrical viewing in 1982. I’ll need to revisit. All I remember is Burt Young, incest and nudity. ;)
That's a triple play right there! :D

I got the 3-movie box to review... and never finished my reviews of 2 and 3, for reasons unknown.

I wrote up everything except the supplements - and then donated the box before I finished, which leaves those reviews unpublishable.

No idea what the heck I was thinking there! Drives me nuts to have 2 unfinished reviews!
 

Kaskade1309

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That's a triple play right there! :D

I got the 3-movie box to review... and never finished my reviews of 2 and 3, for reasons unknown.

I wrote up everything except the supplements - and then donated the box before I finished, which leaves those reviews unpublishable.

No idea what the heck I was thinking there! Drives me nuts to have 2 unfinished reviews!
Oh I would have totally taken that set off your hands for you...

I never got around to picking up Scream Factory's Blu-ray box set (which I'm assuming you're referring to) because I love MGM's DVD box set so much (and which included the awesome History Channel documentaries about the haunting and murders).
 

Kaskade1309

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With regard to Amityville II's incest overtone -- this was based on an alleged accusation that Ronald De Feo was involved with his sister sexually (was never confirmed in reality).

Want to hear something even more disturbing? There are, supposedly, cut scenes from the film that involve a longer, drawn-out sex sequence between Magner and Franklin, and even an "anal rape" moment between Burt Young and Rutanya Alda's characters...:oops::blink:
 
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JimJasper

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With regard to Amityville II's incest overtone -- this was based on an alleged accusation that Ronald De Feo was involved with his sister sexually (was never confirmed in reality).

Want to hear something even more disturbing? There are, supposedly, cut scenes from the film that involve a longer, drawn-out sex sequence between Magner and Franklin, and even an "anal rape" moment between Burt Young and Rutanya Alda's characters...:oops::blink:
Kaskade1309/Adam is right - I've read about those extended scenes and heard Rutanya talk about that rape. ....& I mostly remain disappointed that Jack Magner never got the recognition for his very strong performance in the entire film.....I mean the jail cell for instance - no prosthetics and he's intensely believable. But then how he faded away from acting so quickly.

Regarding the time representation....I think the studio and film folks didn't care that this 1982 horror film (in a horror avalanche)'s primary story reflected 1974 times, because they knew their target audience would mostly be young, party people chalking up seeing another horror film - and may identify more with "current" day rather than 8 years prior. And certainly didn't have the convenience of Google.

Adam, years ago, I read the book, High Hopes: The Amityville Murders (1981) written by the prosecuting attorney of Ronald DeFeo Jr. 's trial. Did you ever read that? Two odd things: 1) It's been a long time (I got it from the Library in the 90s) they literally asked/accused Ronald of possibly having incest with his sister, Dawn, and in one of his (MANY) outbursts in the court room, he said something to the effect of, "Yeah!!! Maybe we did!!" Obviously he's unreliable either way, but the issue was brought up in his trial. 2) as everyone close to the story knows, all the DeFeo family members (6) were found face down and shot (with a high-powered marlon rifle) in bed with no signs of dragging and no drugs in their systems - the attorney said that is the biggest mystery to him and the prosecution:

Amazon product
 
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Kaskade1309

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Kaskade1309/Adam is right - I've read about those extended scenes and heard Rutanya talk about that rape. ....& I mostly remain disappointed that Jack Magner never got the recognition for his very strong performance in the entire film.....I mean the jail cell for instance - no prosthetics and he's intensely believable. But then how he faded away from acting so quickly.

Regarding the time representation....I think the studio and film folks didn't care that this 1982 horror film (in a horror avalanche)'s primary story reflected 1974 times, because they knew their target audience would mostly be young, party people chalking up seeing another horror film - and may identify more with "current" day rather than 8 years prior. And certainly didn't have the convenience of Google.

Adam, years ago, I read the book, High Hopes: The Amityville Murders (1981) written by the prosecuting attorney of Ronald DeFeo Jr. 's trial. Did you ever read that? Two odd things: 1) It's been a long time (I got it from the Library in the 90s) they literally asked/accused Ronald of possibly having incest with his sister, Dawn, and in one of his (MANY) outbursts in the court room, he said something to the effect of, "Yeah!!! Maybe we did!!" Obviously he's unreliable either way, but the issue was brought up in his trial. 2) as everyone close to the story knows, all the DeFeo family members (6) were found face down and shot (with a high-powered marlon rifle) in bed with no signs of dragging and no drugs in their systems - the attorney said that is the biggest mystery to him and the prosecution:

Amazon product
I see another Amityville fan is in the crowd...:rock:

Having grown up just 20 or so minutes from the real 112 Ocean Avenue in Long Island, I have been fascinated with this story since I was a tyke. I did a paper on the De Feo case for a pre-law course I took at Hofstra University, and have interviewed dozens of people who either lived as the De Feo/Lutz neighbors at the time or who were family relatives. My family even knew some of the family members of the De Feo clan.

I indeed read High Hopes, and it was, shall we say, interesting...but most disturbing was the input from attorney William Weber, who would go on to accuse the Lutzes of everything but the Kennedy assassination (as would the testimony and ongoing harassment by Stephen Kaplan and his wife). My favorite book about the whole debacle, interestingly enough, was Murder in Amityville, by Hans Holzer (who provided a commentary track on the Amityville Horror special edition DVD and Blu-ray; his daughter went on to be interviewed for the Amityville II Scream Factory Blu-ray after he passed). Holzer approaches the De Feo murders from a "the house was built on an Indian burial ground and that's why Butch De Feo killed his family" perspective, and it's touched upon in the film variant in Amityville II: The Possession.

As for Magner's performance, I totally agree -- that moment when the eerie chill rushes into the jail cell and James Olson's character is rocked by the supernatural cold while the demon inside Sonny laughs and grins at him is a FAVORITE and bone-chilling clip for me, still. Aside from his small role in Firestarter alongside Drew Barrymore, I don't think he ever acted again; I saw some pics of him that must have been quite recent and he looks AWFUL...like he got really old really fast.
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With regard to the time frame of the film...it could be what you say; the suits at Orion were probably hoping for theaters packed with rowdy, pot-smoking kids that would identify more with the 80s than another film set in the 70s (like the previous one). Still, I was merely pointing out how many reviewers of this film have an issue with the fact that things like a Walkman were shown (when it supposedly was telling the story of a family's murder from the 70s).

To this day -- with regard to the whole "family was found face-down" element -- it could not be explained why the De Feos were discovered in this position, on their stomachs (the way the Native Americans who settled Long Island used to bury their dead) nor why nobody in the entire house or neighboring houses woke to the sound of gunshot after gunshot (it was confirmed that there were no drugs in the victims' bodies).
 
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JimJasper

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I see another Amityville fan is in the crowd...:rock:

Having grown up just 20 or so minutes from the real 112 Ocean Avenue in Long Island, I have been fascinated with this story since I was a tyke. I did a paper on the De Feo case for a pre-law course I took at Hofstra University, and have interviewed dozens of people who either lived as the De Feo/Lutz neighbors at the time or who were family relatives. My family even knew some of the family members of the De Feo clan.

I indeed read High Hopes, and it was, shall we say, interesting...but most disturbing was the input from attorney William Weber, who would go on to accuse the Lutzes of everything but the Kennedy assassination (as would the testimony and ongoing harassment by Stephen Kaplan and his wife). My favorite book about the whole debacle, interestingly enough, was Murder in Amityville, by Hans Holzer (who provided a commentary track on the Amityville Horror special edition DVD and Blu-ray; his daughter went on to be interviewed for the Amityville II Scream Factory Blu-ray after he passed). Holzer approaches the De Feo murders from a "the house was built on an Indian burial ground and that's why Butch De Feo killed his family" perspective, and it's touched upon in the film variant in Amityville II: The Possession.

As for Magner's performance, I totally agree -- that moment when the eerie chill rushes into the jail cell and James Olson's character is rocked by the supernatural cold while the demon inside Sonny laughs and grins at him is a FAVORITE and bone-chilling clip for me, still. Aside from his small role in Firestarter alongside Drew Barrymore, I don't think he ever acted again; I saw some pics of him that must have been quite recent and he looks AWFUL...like he got really old really fast.
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With regard to the time frame of the film...it could be what you say; the suits at Orion were probably hoping for theaters packed with rowdy, pot-smoking kids that would identify more with the 80s than another film set in the 70s (like the previous one). Still, I was merely pointing out how many reviewers of this film have an issue with the fact that things like a Walkman were shown (when it supposedly was telling the story of a family's murder from the 70s).

To this day -- with regard to the whole "family was found face-down" element -- it could not be explained why the De Feos were discovered in this position, on their stomachs (the way the Native Americans who settled Long Island used to bury their dead) nor why nobody in the entire house or neighboring houses woke to the sound of gunshot after gunshot (it was confirmed that there were no drugs in the victims' bodies).
Are we going to get into trouble talking about this film (A II) in a forum for a different film, 1999's "The Haunting?" ....well:

Yes, another fan :)

Magner is so unsung. He's f*cking believable and compelling in every scene (except when he screams in the green lighting and the house freaks out). Just balls out acting: "go away damned bitch" was a shocker as he was manifesting/suffering, and being on the stairs from POV of the demon, his simmering birthday party at the dinner table, avoiding the priest, attacking the priest...but again, that jail cell scene (though the set looked so staged), though, was about the best that showed a lot of range in his Sonny character and the actor: confusion, mockery, possession, pain, physical attacking, and inside religious knowledge ... yet ultimately, pathos.

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You are right, Adam, afterwards Magner did seem to age more than expected. Great pictures you added...I've seen them, & think they average around 2010-2015-ish. I'm sure he's been asked a million times why he left acting and what career choice he changed to. But I just can't find his answer...? Amityville II was very, very negatively received by critics - really bad. And that could have damaged his career at the time despite this strong, leading role. His subsequent small role in Firestarter is virtually forgettable - sad. Maybe he had a bad agent, too. Maybe he went into real estate? I've always wanted to know. It's all sad, b/c he showed a lot of promise in a very demanding, gutsy role. .....Quinton Tarantino (who liked this film a lot!) to the rescue? And then there is the beautifully haunting but tragic, then turning into menacing orchestral music ♫♪ - all in a few bars -that no one gives credit.

Yet honestly, there is a lot to bitch about the film, and I get it. Here is a wretched if condescending review, a lot of elements one can't deny, though some I disagree with ...just so unknowing home theater forum folks know this is NOT a liked film:

And I wasn't complaining about you mentioning the time-period presentation of the film at all, just adding to it (not to mention Trica's totally `82s valley girl dress at the birthday party, the still-cool poster of Deborah Harry) - in fact, I think it's an interesting point to the film: Why wasn't it set in 1974..etc Good discussion about "marketing" a horror film at that time.

Your background is fantastic as you did a deeper dive into the history and living so close to the place....wow. And knowing folks close to each family - wow! Great to read about that. In the last year or so, I discovered an interview with a guy who was a friend of one of the DeFeo's as a boy. Regarding the whole story of the "Red Room" in the basement behind the stairs - he and one of the sons were friends, and were bored, and the father just gave them some paint and said they could paint that room red - pretty simple! And it blew up into this other gateway to hell thing. Hmm.... Yes, I am a fan...not the smartest though LOL - you are more advanced than myself. So, Adam:
* I also read 1979's "Murder in Amityville" by Hans Holzer ...back in the 1990s, and I thought it was either genuinely compelling and closer to the truth or sometimes amped-up, misguided bullshit. It seemed hot or cold to me....it's been so long, i can't think of examples, but that was the impressions I had. But I should read it again. I remember his daughter did an audio commentary as you mentioned (and reviews said she was not very good), though I haven't listened to it. What was most compelling about it to you?

* with "High Hopes: The Amityville Murders" - I will confess that the prosecuting attorney, Gerard Sullivan, I believe was very one-sided about nailing R DeFeo Jr. and he basically did. But his book brought up a lot of elements from the trial - I thought a lot of factual elements. A huge element was Sullivan's claim that DeFeo Jr really really really wanted the insurance policy and didn't want to share it with any of the family - and being narcisstic and regularly under the influence, basically let it rip one night & killed them all.... Though it's such a profoundly catastrophic thing to do, it's hard for me to believe there wasn't some kind of evil influence, too, that Sullivan ignored. been a long time since I read it, but that was my impression. So why do you only consider it "interesting?" Is it too one-sided? I think he dismisses supernatural, because it was a legal court case...and maybe that was unrealistic?

* tried to watch R Defeo Jr. in interviews on Youtube...and he's so narcissistic / sociopathic, I just can't finish his interviews. It's just like trying to watch Diane Downs in interviews. uggh...can't get through em. Am I missing something here?

* Attorney William Weber admittedly is a good speaker at first....but the more you listen to him and study him, he becomes so discredited and crooked, it's hard to watch him in interviews or give much credence to his claims, even if he was close to some of the people. Uggh. I'm acquaintances Chris Lutz (actually Quaratino) on Facebook, and he said some vicious things about Weber's recent death.

* I was at Barnes and Nobles one day, (back in the 1990s again) and came across Stephen Kaplan and his wife's book (forgot the title, but a black and white cover with them in front of the house). Chronicling items published against the Lutz claims and how the Lutz were damaging the fragile credibility of (1970s) burgeoning paranormal studies in academia and society (ie becoming ultimately preternatural). But I have to say, the more I read through Kaplan's book, the more hysterical and over the top resentful he became, which it seemed like it came from him being repeatedly rejected, ignored and mostly denied access to folks involved in Amityville. Well, join the crowd, dumbass. So his resentment charged forth and aimed to discredit the Lutz's and their affiliates right and left, with his "mission" to protect parapsychology. ...yeah. Though I believe he brought out some evidence to his claims, but after reading more and more.... I just wanted to yell at him to: get a life! I got tired of his massively negative claims...he just seemed resentful - a cry baby. Jealous. Sour grapes. Uggh. Even if he was validated, it was sickening. If you are humble, this jealous type vibe, doesn't shine through. Though, again, this was years and years ago when I read this....so these were my impressions. Maybe if I read it again today, I'd do a 180! LOL Anyway, do you think I'm off? What were your thoughts of him and his claims that you recall?

* Did you see 2012's "My Amityville Horror" with Daniel Lutz? An angry man always plays pretty well on screen, imo. I.E.: the VERY intense Daniel Lutz of today!!!....so I found it compelling. He was definitely affected by shit that happened in the house, and I believe him when he said that George's involvement in the occult really aroused whatever was there, so soon after the horrific 6 murders. And I lean to believe most of his other claims. But the tail-end of some of his outbursts, ending with a hard steely, bring-it-on look - I think he was doing for drama, imo, because Daniel knew no one could really refute him in the interviews, though they (the director Eric and Laura DiDio) tried a little here and there. Even so, with my interest in this, I watched it about 3 times...it's very rewatchable for me - again, an angry man on screen always seems to work, and the director Eric just moved things right along. And Daniel is obviously a wounded kid of divorce, which is painful to witness (I am too), and ultimately, Daniel's pain manifests and he becomes simmering or very explosive...(his brother, Chris less so). ....but if you have any idea, why did Daniel keep his last name as Lutz? Also what did you think of this documentary if you saw it?
 
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