(aka "Boarding House" or "Housegeist" or "Bad Force")


directed by John Wintergate
USA 1982


Hoffman House has been abandoned since several members of a family met mysterious deaths (as the unreadable scrolling text and narration tells us before the credits). It is then inherited by Jim Royce (director Johnn Wintergate), a speedo-clad psychic (who somehow managed to not see coming the subsequent bloodshed). It goes without saying that the force that killed the people in the prologue is still in the house and thankfully Jim has decided to turn Hoffman House into a boarding house with a fresh supply of scantily-clad victims.

Although shot for video in "HorrorVision" (i.e. consumer quality video), BOARDINGHOUSE made it to theaters. Reportedly shot as a comedy, the filmmakers insist that the producer's made them edit it into a straightforward horror feature (this may be true since some of the victims' reactions must be more than bad acting). Despite the bad videography (sometimes the strobing is intentional, sometimes it seems to be the iris adjusting to the natural lighting), bad hair, and hilarious performances, there is something surprisingly endearing about the whole enterprise. It helps of course that there is a healthy helping of nudity, dollops of unconvincing gore, and cheesy eighties music. It must be the degree of low budget, inexperienced, downright technically inept enthusiasm behind the scenes that makes a film this bad not a total write-off. Give it a rent and watch it as a breather in between discs of Fassbinder's BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ.

Eric Cotenas


Theatrical Release:

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DVD Review: Code Red DVD - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Code Red DVD

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:39:15

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.94 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono)
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Code Red DVD

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Introduction by Johnn Wintergate (4:3; 0:21)
• Audio Commentary by Johnn Wintergate and Kalassu moderated by Lee Christian and Jeff McCay
• Interviews with Johnn Wintergate and Kalassu (4:3; 13:10)
• Original Trailer 1 (4:3; 0:29)
• Original Trailer 2 (4:3; 1:19)
• SOLE SURVIVOR trailer (4:3; 1:51)
• NIGHTMARE trailer (4:3; 2.:38)
• CAN I DO IT TIL I NEED GLASSES trailer (4:3; 2:41)
• THE DEAD PIT trailer (4:3; 1:51)
• THE CHILLING trailer (4:3; 1:44)

DVD Release Date: 29 April 2008

Chapters 8



Although this shot on video film reportedly received theatrical play, Code Red seems to have used a video master (complete with black side mattes and distortion at the bottom of the frame usually not seen due to TV overscan) for their transfer (this may be a case where a film source might have provided better results).

The 1.33:1 framing is appropriate for a video feature (I doubt it was framed with theatrical matting in mind). The sound is faithfully reproduced (dialogue recording is variable but added sound effects and music are always prominent). The audio commentary and interview by Wintergate and wife/co-star Kalassu are a nice touch (the filmmakers laugh at the film's quirks but also convey their intentions and their fondness for the film even in its current state summoning up a nostalgia for a time when anyone enthusiastic enough could make a cheesy, cheap, home-movie-quality horror movie hoping for video distribution and get a theatrical release).

 - Eric Cotenas


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Screen Captures

HorrorVision Warning (note the analog video artifacts normally cut off due to overscan)




















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Code Red DVD

Region 0 - NTSC




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