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The Lamp (The Outing) - Braveworld - VHS Print E-mail
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Written by Jay Creepy   
Saturday, 14 March 2015
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BUY THE LAMP FROM AMAZON

A.K.A.: The Outing, Lampa, La lampara, To lyhnari tou daimona, A Lampada do Terror, Klauen des Todes

Directed by:
Tom Daley
Written by:
Warren Chaney
Produced by:
Warren Chaney
Cinematography by:
Herbert Raditschnig
Editing by:
Claudio Cutry
Special Effects by:
John BLake, Thomas Floutz, Brian Wade, Gabriel Bartalos, Barbara Anne Bock, Paul Clemens, Raymond Fielding, and many more.
Music by: B
ruce Miller, Joel Rosenbaum
Cast:
James Huston, Deborah Winters, Andra St. Ivanyi, Scott Bankston, Red Mitchell.
Year:
1987
Country:
USA
Language:
English
Color:
Color
Runtime:
1h 29min

Studio: Skouras Pictures, H.I.T. Films, TMS Pictures
Distributor: Braveworld, Shout! Factory

The Lamp, also known as The Outing, was one of those large box rentals that would, straight away, capture your attention on the shelf simply due to the lenticular image presented. There were only a handful of these designs around at the time -- well, in the mid to late 80s, I don't recall that many. The colorful pics on the back helped the U.K edition, apart from a skeleton looking a bit like One Eyed Willy from The Goonies.

The Lamp video tape only merits one trailer, it seems, Night Screams, so awful looking it's desperate for a review one day, and we're straight into the action. It's 1893, and the camera pans around a dark ship and its cargo. There's a dead man on deck, and below crawls an Arabian woman who dies quickly. A bracelet which flashes pretty red lights, slips off her wrist. The captain of the ship is running through the dark until faced by the shadow of some monstrous creature. Clumps of fake blood splash onto a crate -- yep, he's dead. There's a lamp in view, old and antique, which we see taken by some unknown person.

Cut to present day late 1980s and we see two hillbilly lads in a truck with their large haired female friend. Alcohol sipping good ol' boys with caps, cut off shorts (well, she has) chequered shirts; you know the sort. The threesome are off to rob a stately home in the middle of the night. “Lots o' cash,” says one.

The occupant is an old lady, and by her appearance asleep on her bed, judging by her garments and obvious old age makeup (actually the actress, Deborah Winter, plays three characters in this movie) she's either involved in the occult, or at least owns the lamp. The two men explore her house, “C'mon, let's have a look see,” heading upstairs accompanied by eerie music. They attack the old lady to try and find out where she keeps her money. A picture by the bed shows the Arabian woman from the pre-credits sequence and a little girl. Aha, so here's the little girl all grown up. Where's the lamp then? Well, one of the boys uses his axe to break into a false wall and pulls out a chest. She becomes all in a panic, but receives an axe to the forehead for her troubles.

Yep, the lamp is in the chest. We also see the bracelet fall from the old lady. Two of the thieves wander off whilst the third plays with the lamp. A ruby jewel on the spout of the lamp begins to turn before his astonished eyes. He removes it and smoke blasts out. Funny green effects shoot into the old woman's nose and her corpse starts to move with glowing 80s style green eyes, killing him. The other two don't last very long; just enough time for the girl to run around the huge house topless for the teen lads of the day who have rented this.

Bewildered police officers wander the property trying to figure it out. One cop sees the lamp whilst arguing with his partner about sandwiches, but the lamp of the title soon finds its way to a local museum with more artifacts discovered in the dead ladies home. The curator, Dr. Albert Wallace and his daughter, Alex, are watched from within the lamp as they do the stereotypical: “Since mom died...” blah blah strained routine until they hug. Finally Alex notices the lamp. “Looks like something out of Arabian Nights.” quite taken by it. Left alone in the room, staring at the lamp (“She'll touch it,” said my Horror Soulmate) instead wandering over to the glistening bracelet. Alex puts it on, and then is drawn to the lamp, rubbing it. (“I said it, didn't I?”) Her Dad arrives just in time.

Back home the next morning, Alex is hypnotized by a kids cartoon showing a Genie. The bracelet on her wrist throbs red. Then we get to meet her ‘80s man, and her ‘80s bad dude ex-boyfriend, whilst chasing each other in their ‘80s cars with ‘80s music blasting out. Funny how in these movies, the clean cut virginal girl has chosen a clean cut innocent boy, but has been dating a vile brute not long beforehand.

Meanwhile, Wallace's friend, Dr. Theo Bressling, has discovered the lamp dates back to around 3,500 BC, and is struggling to translate the writings on it.

Alex's ex, Mike, chokes her in school until her fella steps in, then Miss Ferrell, armed with a pool cue. Mike is left to hobble away swearing to get everyone. Afterwards, in lessons, Miss Ferrell raises a discussion about myths based on facts in literature. Alex questions her if the magic lamp could be real. Miss Ferrell talks about Jinns, and how, "The oil lamp was used to summon his spirit, or could hold it." Early Arabic records do not clearly describe a Jinn.

There's a field trip to the museum, led by Wallace, of course. Leaving his assistant in charge, he slides off with Miss Ferrell for a romantic dewy-eyed kiss. It appears they've been seeing each other for a while.

Alex and two of her girlfriends decide to stay back in the museum over night for a laugh. Alex is doubtful. Joined by the boys, they all discuss it further. The tour continues, but Alex is drawn to the lamp in her Dad's office, rubbing it as it shakes (oooh eerrr). She uncaps the spout -- smoke, sparks, and a huge beast hidden in the clouds. Alex leaves the room totally possessed, and she's worked out a way they can all get into the building at night. Only them, no one else is allowed to know. Alex has a plan to get them past the two security guards and the cameras. Alex is very intense and in their faces. Mike and his buddy have followed everybody in, overhearing these plans, they decide to hide away until after hours.

Theo has discovered the lamp is Middle Eastern in origin. The inscriptions on the sides reveal a warning. He has also found the photograph of the Arabian lady and her child taken in Iraq (the lamp is visible in the picture). He's researched everything he can, and what happened to the crew of the ship. Theo is alone in the office with the lamp and is then predictably slaughtered in bloody fashion -- the Jinn, again, only briefly seen.

That night, Alex has glowing green eyes. She hurries her Dad from the museum. Everything is locked up, as singing security officer, Bob, patrols the rooms. Alex's sleepover club arrive at a side door and Alex lets them in. They listen to Bob's crappy "Figaro!" singing, then she tells them to hide in the basement where there's no cameras or security. Alex follows and locks the gate to the said part of the museum, but senses Mike is nearby, so she unlocks it again, smiling.

Her friends are getting slightly worried about being caught, turning blame on Alex, like it was totally her idea. But when they crack open the drinks, they all relax. Back upstairs, Bob finds Theo's corpse and is dispatched by a floating spear.

The couples divide off for some personal teen horror time, whilst Mike and his chum creep about the corridors like Scooby and Shaggy. Alex and her boyfriend, Ted, talk a while, trying to build some characters. Mike barricades up the door. "Let's go, take care of the others first."

However the Jinn has other ideas, picking them all off couple by couple in varied nasty ways. Decapitation, specimen snakes coming to life, head crushing... Most of the cast are erased from the script rather quickly leaving only Alex and Ted running about. Seems her possession is an on/off thing because she kind of gets a little giddy at one point, and it's gone. Soon, her Dad and Miss Ferrell arrive to run around with them.

It's a fairly well made movie with decent acting, and aside from some cheesy FX lights, the makeup and latex are well constructed. Similar to The Gate in style, and gory in parts, the film builds itself slowly without becoming tiresome, at least until the last fifteen minutes or so. Once the Jinn is revealed it does suck a lot, like a fatter bald Ghoulie. His voice is Death Metal gruff, when he explains that since Alex is now the keeper of the lamp, it will grant her wishes.

The Lamp has its own fun game hidden within -- Spot the Microphone! We saw three different instances of this, both very visible and comical. Aside from the one or two negatives (it really loses all momentum by the finale) it's watchable and good for a chuckle.

Under its name The Outing, The Lamp has had a DVD release as a foursome with The Godsend, What's the Matter with Helen? and The Vagrant from Scream Factory, and as The Lamp courtesy of Midnight Movies. This review is from Braveworld's late ‘80s VHS large box rental.

 


 

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 RATING:
 MOVIE: 1 
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3.22 Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."

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