The House of Clocks
Lucio Fulci. And a rather strange one. Is it a zombie movie? Kind of, but I fail to see what the real concept was.
There’s an old mansion, inhabited by an old couple, their house maid and their gardener. They have a dark secret – the conserved corpses of their nephew and his wife (both in wedding outfits) in a chapel. The old man collects clocks and loves them like his children. Early in the movie, they kill the maid for knowing too much after she discovered the chapel and dead bodies.
Then we have a trio of young burglars; a couple and the guy’s best friend. They plan to rob that old mansion. Armed with toy guns. They manage to get in the house with the old “my car broke down, can I use your phone” trick. However, they get surprised by the gardener and a shotgun, and in the end, the old couple and gardener are dead; and the robbers can’t leave the house due to a) rabid dogs outside and b) broken gate door mechanism.
They decide to stay til the morning and explore the house. Later, the couple sends the best friend away. He goes to search his lighter for consuming illegal substances, and discovers that the dead bodies aren’t were they left them anymore, and the broken dining table looks like before the fight. During the night, the clocks begin to run backwards, and the “earlier” it gets, the more damage is undone; until the dead are back alive and out for revenge. They kill the two guys, and also the maid and the nephew with his wife come back to life – and the nephew and wife kill the old couple again.
In the morning, the girl that broke in wakes up in the car – both her friends are alive, and they are in the time before reaching the house at all. All had “strange nightmares” (which we see in flashbacks; the scenes when they died or got hunted) and decide to not go to the old mansion at all. They drive away happily and die in a car accident. In the mansion, we see the young couple (nephew + wife) on the dining table, inviting the maid to have breakfast with them.
Umm, yes… The setting and all is quite nice, I totally want that mansion. But the story is just weirdo, though the atmosphere isn’t all that bad. The dream finish is a bit a let down, but oh well, that’s Fulci. Most memorable mutilation… Hard to say. The movie isn’t too bloody, it has more a 1979 than 1989 feel. I’d give it to the old lady killing the maid with a spear (?) and then dancing happily away to tell her husband. The rest is pretty much shotgun and knives. All things considered, I’d go with a 6.8 on a ranking zero = total waste of time and ten = perfect movie.