8213: Gacy House (2010) movie review

Director: Anthony Fankhauser

Writer: Anthony Fankhauser (Uncredited)

Cast: Jim Lewis, Matthew Temple, Diana Terranova

Runtime: 85 min.

Winter 1978- Chicago police make a shocking discovery in the crawlspace of the home of local businessman and part-time children’s clown John Wayne Gacy. 26 bodies of teenage boys and men are found putrefying in a shallow make-shift graveyard setting into motion one of the most heinous investigations in the annals of serial murder history. Torture devices such as a wooden board affixed with shackles, a garrote, and a two foot long dildo most of which was covered with shit and dried blood were some of Gacy’s tools of terror. Gacy would lure his victims to his home with promises of money and drugs. As an ice breaker, he would show you his “handcuff trick.” Put the handcuffs on John first, hands behind his back of course, and then he “magically” pops them open. Now, it’s your turn. Can’t get them off, can you? John laughs sinisterly as he reveals his trick…you need the key, dummy. A chloroform soaked rag sends you into the blackout zone. In a haze, you wake only to watch as the rotund, nude Gacy with his face painted as his alter ego Pogo the Clown walks menacingly toward you hard-on in hand as you struggle against your bonds hoping against all hope that rape is the worst thing you will have to endure, but in the depths of your soul you know this is the end. This should be more than enough imagery to fill out a horror film with, right? So, does 8213: Gacy House live up to the horrors of reality or does it merely exploit the name of one of the worst serial murderers in American history in order to cover up its own low budget limitations? Step into my crawlspace and find out.

Six paranormal investigators and a sexy psychic decide to investigate the possibly haunted occurrences at John Wayne Gacy’s former home. Or more accurately land since his actual home was torn down after his conviction. However, in the movie a new home was built on the land and subsequently abandoned under mysterious circumstances. The duration of the film is spent watching auras around lamps, pictures crashing to the floor, and unexplained scratch marks on the back of one of the female investigators after she inexplicably decides to get frisky with one of the male paranormal researchers. The hot blonde psychic gets to showcase her ample bosom during one scene in which one of her breasts suffers a cut from a dowsing rod after she manages to piss off the ghost of Gacy. Truly frustrating is the scene in which she is topless (finally!) yet the camera cuts so quickly back and forth that you get only mini-glimpses of her tasty teats.

The film is shot in the first person perspective as it has been recovered by Des Plaines police as evidence of six murders and one disappearance. It’s not a total shaky cam affair though the requisite night vision does dominate many scenes. It seems the budget went toward the paranormal gear rather than gruesome special effects which considering the source material is truly a head scratcher. I mean Gacy’s terrible tale is not filled with boobs and blood to begin with (more like pecs and feces), but there is still enough atrocity to mine for an indy horror movie. The Blair Witch Project leaps to mind as well as the far superior Paranormal Activity though the build-up in both films was handled more adroitly than in this one. The acting was solid throughout the entire cast though as things suddenly start to happen as a viewer you don’t feel the same sense of panic as everyone in the film does because of this deficiency. All in all, it’s a decent film to watch late at night. More so if you are trapped in the crawlspace of a mad clown that wants to make you his dead bitch.



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