Amityville II: The Possession (1982)

R | 104 mins | Horror | 24 September 1982

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HISTORY

       Following the successful release of The Amityville Horror (1979, see entry), American International Pictures (AIP) purchased the film and television rights to Hans Holzer’s 1979 book, Murder in Amityville for a six-figure advance with the intention of adapting the material as a prequel, according to an undated Publishers Weekly news item. Referring to the picture by its working title, Death in Amityville, a 15 Apr 1981 HR brief announced that Dino De Laurentiis would produce the project for Filmways Pictures, which had recently taken over AIP. Death in Amityville was planned as the company’s first release since George Litto and Robert Meyers stepped in as Filmways chief executive officer and chief operating officer, respectively. According to a 14 Apr 1981 Filmways press release in AMPAS library files, the screen adaptation was being written by David Ambrose, and John Hough was hired to direct, with production scheduled to begin Sep 1981. However, neither Ambrose nor Hough are credited onscreen. Production notes in AMPAS library files state that principal photography for Amityville II: The Possession began 8 Mar 1982 in Toms River, NJ, using the same house that was used in The Amityville Horror. According to a 17 Mar 1982 HR article, production was scheduled for two weeks in NJ, followed by another eight or nine weeks in Mexico.
       On 20 Sep 1982, HR announced that following Filmways’ absorption by Orion Pictures, the number of theaters booked for release increased from 1,000 to 1,200, due to positive responses from trade screenings. Three days later, a 23 Sep 1982 ... More Less

       Following the successful release of The Amityville Horror (1979, see entry), American International Pictures (AIP) purchased the film and television rights to Hans Holzer’s 1979 book, Murder in Amityville for a six-figure advance with the intention of adapting the material as a prequel, according to an undated Publishers Weekly news item. Referring to the picture by its working title, Death in Amityville, a 15 Apr 1981 HR brief announced that Dino De Laurentiis would produce the project for Filmways Pictures, which had recently taken over AIP. Death in Amityville was planned as the company’s first release since George Litto and Robert Meyers stepped in as Filmways chief executive officer and chief operating officer, respectively. According to a 14 Apr 1981 Filmways press release in AMPAS library files, the screen adaptation was being written by David Ambrose, and John Hough was hired to direct, with production scheduled to begin Sep 1981. However, neither Ambrose nor Hough are credited onscreen. Production notes in AMPAS library files state that principal photography for Amityville II: The Possession began 8 Mar 1982 in Toms River, NJ, using the same house that was used in The Amityville Horror. According to a 17 Mar 1982 HR article, production was scheduled for two weeks in NJ, followed by another eight or nine weeks in Mexico.
       On 20 Sep 1982, HR announced that following Filmways’ absorption by Orion Pictures, the number of theaters booked for release increased from 1,000 to 1,200, due to positive responses from trade screenings. Three days later, a 23 Sep 1982 HR article announced that George and Kathleen Lutz, former residents of the actual Amityville, Long Island home in which the DeFeo murders were committed on 13 Nov 1974, filed a $25 million lawsuit to bar Orion and De Laurentiis from associating Amityville II: The Possession with the original The Amityville Horror. The couple, who owned exclusive sequel rights to The Amityville Horror, argued that Amityville II: The Possession was not a legitimate sequel to The Amityville Horror because it was based on the Holzer book, not John G. Jones’s The Amityville Horror Part II (1982), the official sequel to Jay Anson’s 1977 book, The Amityville Horror. The Lutzes claimed that the release of Amityville II: The Possession devalued their sequel rights and damaged their ability to release another Amityville movie. However, Amityville II: The Possession opened one day later on 24 Sep 1982 to generally unenthusiastic reviews. Amityville II marked the motion picture debut of actor Jack Magner, who played the role of “Sonny Montelli.”
       The picture was followed by two theatrically released films in the Amityville series: Amityville 3-D (1983, see entry) and a remake of The Amityville Horror (2005, see entry). In 2013, a documentary about Daniel Lutz, the son of George and Kathleen Lutz, was released titled My Amityville Horror (see entry). In addition, seven more television movies and direct-to-video titles have been released as part of the Amityville series.
      End credits contain the following written statement: “This film was made in association with Media Technology Ltd., Mexico and was filmed on location in New Jersey, U.S.A. and at Estudios Churubusco Azteca S.A., Mexico City, with the production crew of the S.T.P.C.” In addition, the producers include a special thanks to the Ocean County Mayor’s Office and the residents of Tom’s [sic] River, NJ, for their cooperation during filming.
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Hollywood Reporter
15 Apr 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
17 Mar 1982.
---
Hollywood Reporter
20 Sep 1982.
---
Hollywood Reporter
23 Sep 1982.
---
Hollywood Reporter
24 Sep 1982
p. 3, 10.
Los Angeles Times
28 Sep 1982
p. 4.
New York Times
24 Sep 1982
p. 20.
Publishers Weekly
---
Variety
29 Sep 1982
p. 18.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Dino De Laurentiis presents
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Asst cam
2d asst cam
Key grip
Dolly grip
Gaffer
Best boy
Processed by
Processed by
Mexico City
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Supv asst ed
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
Prop master
Scenic chargeman
Const grip
COSTUMES
Cost des
Ward mistress
MUSIC
Mus rec at
Los Angeles, California
Mus consultant
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Looping ed
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff supv
Spec eff asst
Main titles and end credits des and prod by
MAKEUP
Spec make-up created by
Spec make-up asst
Make-up lab asst
Makeup artist
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Loc mgr
Scr supv
Transportation capt
Prod auditor
Prod auditor
Prod coord
Prod coord
Religious consultant
Demonology adv
Demonology adv
STAND INS
Stunt coord
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the book Murder in Amityville by Hans Holzer (New York, 1979).
AUTHOR
MUSIC
"White Out," by Phil Demise, published by Gegenshein Music.
SONGS
"Happy Birthday To You," music and lyrics by Mildred J. Hill and Patty S. Hill, Summy/Birchard Music division of Birch Tree Group Ltd.
"Home Sweet Home," music by Henry Bishop, lyrics by Howard Payne.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Death in Amityville
Release Date:
24 September 1982
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 24 September 1982
Production Date:
8 March--late March 1982 in Toms River, NJ
late March--May 1982 in Mexico
Copyright Claimant:
Dino DeLaurentiis Corporation
Copyright Date:
4 October 1983
Copyright Number:
PA198387
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Duration(in mins):
104
MPAA Rating:
R
Countries:
Mexico, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
26777
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Anthony and Delores Montelli, their teenaged children Sonny and Tricia, and the young Mark and Jan, move into their new house in the town of Amityville, New York. Delores notices that all the windows on the first floor have been nailed shut, then when she turns on the tap, the water in the sink appears red before running clear. While bringing in boxes, the mover opens a door to a secret room in the basement that is dripping with water and infested with flies. After he leaves, the door opens by itself and Delores senses a presence behind her. However, Sonny comes downstairs and convinces her she is imagining things. That night after dinner, the basement hatch opens again and a disembodied spirit moves upstairs. It covers the family’s crucifix with a tablecloth and follows Sonny as he prepares for bed. A loud banging on the front door wakes Anthony and Delores, but there is no one outside. In Jan and Mark’s room, the two children see a paintbrush levitate and scribble, “Dishonor thy father. PIGS!” on their wall. Believing the children are responsible for sullying the new house, Anthony beats his wife, but Sonny forces his father to stop by holding a shotgun to his neck. Later, Sonny listens to music and hears a voice in his headphones, asking why he did not pull the trigger. Some time later, the Montellis attend church where Delores asks Father Adamsky to bless the family’s new house. When Father Adamsky arrives, Sonny shakes the priest's hand and dishes fly off the kitchen shelves, provoking Anthony to again blame the children for the mess. Father Adamsky leaves without performing the blessing, but ... +


Anthony and Delores Montelli, their teenaged children Sonny and Tricia, and the young Mark and Jan, move into their new house in the town of Amityville, New York. Delores notices that all the windows on the first floor have been nailed shut, then when she turns on the tap, the water in the sink appears red before running clear. While bringing in boxes, the mover opens a door to a secret room in the basement that is dripping with water and infested with flies. After he leaves, the door opens by itself and Delores senses a presence behind her. However, Sonny comes downstairs and convinces her she is imagining things. That night after dinner, the basement hatch opens again and a disembodied spirit moves upstairs. It covers the family’s crucifix with a tablecloth and follows Sonny as he prepares for bed. A loud banging on the front door wakes Anthony and Delores, but there is no one outside. In Jan and Mark’s room, the two children see a paintbrush levitate and scribble, “Dishonor thy father. PIGS!” on their wall. Believing the children are responsible for sullying the new house, Anthony beats his wife, but Sonny forces his father to stop by holding a shotgun to his neck. Later, Sonny listens to music and hears a voice in his headphones, asking why he did not pull the trigger. Some time later, the Montellis attend church where Delores asks Father Adamsky to bless the family’s new house. When Father Adamsky arrives, Sonny shakes the priest's hand and dishes fly off the kitchen shelves, provoking Anthony to again blame the children for the mess. Father Adamsky leaves without performing the blessing, but when he returns to his car, he finds his book of prayers torn to shreds. The family goes back to church so Anthony can apologize in front of the children, but Sonny stays behind, claiming he does not feel well. While home alone, Sonny follows sounds into the basement where he hears whispers that lead him into the secret room. He sees an arm protruding from the wall, but the vision disappears. As Sonny heads upstairs, he feels a presence behind him and the water pipes burst. Back in his room, Sonny is thrown onto the bed and the spirit enters his body, causing his face and abdomen to contort. Meanwhile, the electricity shorts out, the furnace explodes, beds spin, and windows fly open. When the family returns, Sonny seduces his sister, Tricia, and they make love. She later attempts to confess her sin to Father Adamsky, but runs away, too ashamed to admit to incest. Father Adamsky returns to bless the Montelli house, but when he tosses holy water onto the bed, both he and Delores envision the water as blood. Convinced of evil spirits, the priest asks the church Chancellor permission to perform an exorcism, but is denied. Tricia visits Father Adamsky and invites him to Sonny’s birthday party that afternoon. Adamsky declines the invitation and is called away on an urgent matter. At Sonny’s party, Delores notices the strange intimacy between Sonny and Tricia. As guests arrive, Sonny retreats upstairs. When Tricia goes to speak to him, his face contorts and he orders her to leave. Delores overhears Tricia using the hallway phone to call Father Adamsky about Sonny, but he does not answer as he is leaving on a camping trip with his associate, Father Tom. That night, Tricia is awakened by a storm and she listens to her parents argue; Delores does not want to have sex with Anthony anymore. Tricia then sees Sonny creep into their parents’ bedroom with a shotgun where he shoots Anthony and Delores. He then kills both of their younger siblings. Tricia attempts to escape, but every door and window is nailed shut, and Sonny corners her with the gun. Meanwhile, Father Adamsky awakens in his cabin with a start, and he rushes to the Montelli house to discover that his nightmare was real. With Tricia also dead, Sonny is taken into custody, but he claims he does not remember anything. At the funeral, Father Adamsky realizes Tricia was trying to telephone him the night of the murders, so he feels personally responsible for the family’s deaths. Using Sonny as a medium, the spirit speaks to Father Adamsky, who becomes determined to perform an exorcism. An archivist, Mrs. Greer, shows Father Adamsky a book of records indicating that a witch built the now-haunted Amityville property on a sacred Native American burial ground. Later, the judge refuses Sonny’s plea that he is demonically possessed. However, Police Inspector Turner allows Father Adamsky to sneak Sonny out of the hospital. When Father Tom overhears police discussing the escape, he searches for the runaways. Meanwhile, Sonny and Father Adamsky arrive at church, but Sonny escapes and Father Adamsky follows him to the basement of the Montelli home. There, the cellar floods with blood as a thunderstorm looms inside the house. Now completely possessed by the evil spirit, Sonny attacks Father Adamsky. Sonny’s face briefly transforms into Tricia’s as the spirit accuses the priest of having impure thoughts, but Father Adamsky continues his exorcism, yelling, “Let it be me!” The spirit tears rotting flesh from Sonny’s body, provoking a fireball to erupt in the basement, and Sonny is returned to normal. Father Tom arrives at the house and escorts Sonny outside to the police. Meanwhile, Father Adamsky notices his skin shift as the evil spirit settles into his body. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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