Wednesday, June 26, 2024

‘Amityville Death Toilet’ Flushes the “Franchise” Even Further Down the Toilet [The Amityville IP]

Twice a month Joe Lipsett will dissect a new Amityville Horror film to explore how the “franchise” has evolved in increasingly ludicrous directions. This is “The Amityville IP.”

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to crown a top five worst Amityville film of all time. Clocking in at an excruciating 72 minutes, writer/director Evan JacobsAmityville Death Toilet is a no budget, three actor film that, unlike Ghosts of Amityville, isn’t a short film stretched to feature length. There isn’t enough content in this “horror comedy” to even justify a short, never mind a feature; it’s simply too slight and inconsequential.

The film belongs almost exclusively to Gregg G Allin (Isaac Golub), an empath who moonlights for a webseries called The Ghost Hunters. Allin is ordered by belligerent Amityville Mayor, Mr. Dump* (Roy Englebrecht) to solve a rash of toilet-related deaths right before the city’s lucrative summer season. And since Gregg G is coming directly from vacation, he repeatedly reassures his viewers that since he’s going solo, there won’t have “talent or gear” with him. These words are an obvious attempt to explain why only two actors (plus Jacobs himself) appear in the film.

*Yes, that is reflective of the level of humor in the film.

To be fair, Amityville Death Toilet is very clearly an extremely indie film.

What the miniscule budget doesn’t explain, however, is why Jacobs’ script is so repetitive. Every line in every scene is repeated at least two to three times (often with no change in inflection). This is clearly an attempt to (as usual) pad the runtime to feature-length, but hearing the same phrase(s) multiple times only makes the film feel like a repetitive slog.

When nearly every scene fails to advance the narrative in a meaningful way and features one of only three characters speaking the same few lines of bland, uninspired dialogue, it leaves audiences to ponder inane questions.

Questions like “was Jacobs’ screenplay restricted to a specific word count?” or “why feature velociraptors and not some other dinosaur?”

Yes, there are dinosaurs in this film. As well as a shark, a zombie woman, schools of fish, and fart clouds. They’re all bargain basement budget CGI and serve virtually no narrative purpose. Except perhaps as comedy, because it’s clear that the film believes it’s a comedy. Whether audiences agree with that assessment is a valid question.

Amityville Death Toilet opens with a montage of men farting on the potty before a toilet knife behind the seat swishes back and forth and somehow amputates most of their limbs. Each time a hand, foot or brain (?) is cut off, a very obvious plastic appendage falls with a loud clang to the bathroom floor. One man is even shot by a gun in the place of the flush valve (see pic to left). This is all very dumb and initially bodes well because it suggests that this is a silly, entertaining Amityville entry.

Alas, the opening moments are among the few clever jokes in the film. Without even amusing scatalogical humor to entertain, the film fails to build an interesting mythology for its mean-spirited commode. With some few characters, it also has limited character interactions (the only time two characters speak in-person onscreen is when Gregg chats with Jacobs’ character, Sebastian and that happens TWICE).

There’s also a lack of rising action, as in virtually nothing happens and then Sebastian is killed and suddenly it’s the climax. Worst of all, Amityville Death Toilet resorts to numerous extended montages of driving or walking around an empty house to run up the clock. These range from 2-4 minutes each and it happens at least four times throughout the film. To put it succinctly: literally nothing happens in this film.

Isaac Golub as Gregg G (L) and Evan Jacobs as Sebastian (R)

While certain stylistic techniques, such as Gregg G being confronted with random CGI imagery, could be amusing, it’s backloaded to the end of the film. The choice of completely unrelated imagery is clearly intended to be funny and off-kilter, but it’s barely worth more than a chuckle. If anything, these moments play more like Jacobs’ visual hail Mary to give audiences something (anything) of interest to look at.

For too long, however, Amityville Death Toilet is content to simply have Gregg G talk (and talk!) to his camera about his healing crystal, or how he doesn’t know what he’s doing, or how the house isn’t haunted. It’s not particularly interesting and, with so little else going on, it also feels interminable.

The end result: Amityville Death Toilet is easily one of the worst entries in the “franchise,” if only because it is too long to be this boring.

If pressed to describe the film using only a single still image from the film, it’s a pretty obvious choice…

A man farting on a toilet

Other Observations:

  • Ironically this isn’t the first Amityville film to feature plenty of flatulence, so let’s hear it for “franchise” connections to Amityville Karen.
  • Amityville Death Toilet also isn’t the worst offender for endless pointless walking montages. That honor still belongs to Amityville Exorcism.
  • One of the most obviously sexual moments in a completely non-sexual film occurs when Gregg G reassures his viewers that he’s going to “investigate the bowels of the house” (cue him holding up two fingers) and “get real deep” (a fist). Not a bad joke, but it’s the only time the film ventures into this kind of humor, so it feels more out of place than anything.
  • Considering Gregg definitely walks through multiple clouds of CGI flatulence, if this movie ever gets a sequel, I hope it’s called Amityville Pink Eye. (And I want several dimes worth of residuals)
  • Following a nearly interminable four minute climax of nothing but fake fiery CGI around Gregg G, the toilet and a bible, the toilet holds up a white towel in surrender. Again, it’s very dumb, and it would have played better had Gregg actually done anything other than cower during the climax, but at this point the bar was so low that I laughed.

  • Low budget filmmaking 101: when you want to have a character film at night but don’t have the budget for proper night vision, just apply a green filter.
  • At one point Gregg G pleads with viewers that he just needs one more subscriber in order to keep his URL. As a freelance writer who pays for a domain name and a website each year, let me tell you that that is not how subscribers work.
  • “Best” Dialogue: When Gregg G tries to abandon the gig, Mayor Dump threatens him with “If you can’t kill this toilet, I’m going to flush you down a toilet.” That’s what we’re working with here, folks.
  • With that said, Mayor Dump clarifies earlier that he, too, has seen some things, explaining that he’s been in “Nam, Iraq, Desert Storm and Kosovo.” That’s a pretty subtle joke. (Those conflicts range from 1975-2008)

Next time: we jump ahead to the first of writer/director Nick Box’s possible three (!) April 2023 entries with Amityville Frankenstein.

The post ‘Amityville Death Toilet’ Flushes the “Franchise” Even Further Down the Toilet [The Amityville IP] appeared first on Bloody Disgusting!.


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