Amityville 3-D (1983)

PG | 109 mins | Horror | 18 November 1983

Writer:

William Wales

Producer:

Stephen F. Kesten

Cinematographer:

Fred Schuler

Production Designer:

Giorgio Postiglione

Production Company:

Dino De Laurentiis Corporation
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HISTORY

The 28 Nov 1982 HR announced the film’s domestic “broad theatrical release” on 26 Aug 1983 in theaters equipped for three-dimensional projection. On 29 Dec 1982, HR added that principal photography was scheduled to begin late Jan 1983. The 30 Mar 1983 MPHPD reported that filming would take place in Mexico City, Mexico, with a tentative release date of 14 Oct 1983. There was no mention of Mexico City in onscreen credits or available sources in AMPAS library production files.
       Production notes stated that the entire Amityville house was recreated on a soundstage, “complete with basement and an abandoned well.” The scene is which actor John Harkins is covered in flies was accomplished with 1.6 million “sterile male flies,” ordered by producer Stephen F. Kesten from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Everyone on set was required to wear gauze netting and respirator masks during photography of the sequence, except for Harkin, who had “a mouth and nose full of flies” at its completion, though he wore a latex mask created by makeup artist John Caglione, Jr. The picture marked the return of director Richard Fleischer to the medium of three-dimensional film, following a thirty-year hiatus. His previous such production was Arena (1953, see entry), which was photographed with two cameras and exhibited with two projectors to achieve the desired effect. The ArriVision 3-D process used in Amityville 3-D required only one camera and one projector.
       The picture was released 18 Nov 1983 to mixed reviews. While the 21 Nov 1983 LAT called it “a ... More Less

The 28 Nov 1982 HR announced the film’s domestic “broad theatrical release” on 26 Aug 1983 in theaters equipped for three-dimensional projection. On 29 Dec 1982, HR added that principal photography was scheduled to begin late Jan 1983. The 30 Mar 1983 MPHPD reported that filming would take place in Mexico City, Mexico, with a tentative release date of 14 Oct 1983. There was no mention of Mexico City in onscreen credits or available sources in AMPAS library production files.
       Production notes stated that the entire Amityville house was recreated on a soundstage, “complete with basement and an abandoned well.” The scene is which actor John Harkins is covered in flies was accomplished with 1.6 million “sterile male flies,” ordered by producer Stephen F. Kesten from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Everyone on set was required to wear gauze netting and respirator masks during photography of the sequence, except for Harkin, who had “a mouth and nose full of flies” at its completion, though he wore a latex mask created by makeup artist John Caglione, Jr. The picture marked the return of director Richard Fleischer to the medium of three-dimensional film, following a thirty-year hiatus. His previous such production was Arena (1953, see entry), which was photographed with two cameras and exhibited with two projectors to achieve the desired effect. The ArriVision 3-D process used in Amityville 3-D required only one camera and one projector.
       The picture was released 18 Nov 1983 to mixed reviews. While the 21 Nov 1983 LAT called it “a film of considerable style and assurance,” the 23 Nov 1983 Var stated that it “would have worked better played for laughs.” According to the Feb 1984 Box, Amityville 3-D opened in 1254 theaters and earned $2.4 million in its opening week, after which receipts “fell sharply.” More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
Feb 1984.
---
Daily Variety
30 Dec 1982.
---
Hollywood Reporter
28 Nov 1982.
---
Hollywood Reporter
29 Dec 1982.
---
Hollywood Reporter
22 Nov 1983
p. 3, 35.
Los Angeles Times
21 Nov 1983
p. 5.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
30 Mar 1983.
---
New York Times
20 Nov 1983
p. 68.
Variety
23 Nov 1983
p. 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
An Orion Pictures Release
Dino De Laurentiis Presents
A Richard Fleischer Film
An Orion Pictures Release
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Unit prod mgr, Location unit
2d asst dir, Location unit
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Asst cam
Still photog
Altered photog
Grip, Location unit
Grip, Location unit
Elec, Location unit
Elec, Location unit
ART DIRECTORS
Prod illustrator
Asst art dir
Art dir, Location unit
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Propman, Location unit
Propman, Location unit
COSTUMES
Cost des
Ward asst
Ward supv, Location unit
SOUND
Sd mixer
Sd boom man
Supv sd ed
Dial ed
Addl sd ed
Addl sd ed
Asst sd ed
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Sd, Location unit
Sd, Location unit
Post-prod facilities
VISUAL EFFECTS
3-D coord
Spec eff coord
Spec eff supv
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Opt visual eff
Jex FX
Opt eff crew
Opt eff crew
Opt eff crew
Opt eff crew
Title mechanicals
Spec eff, Location unit
Spec eff, Location unit
MAKEUP
Spec makeup
Makeup illusions
Makeup illusions crew
Makeup illusions crew
Makeup illusions crew
Makeup illusions crew
Hair stylist, Location unit
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Scr supv
Prod accountant
Prod exec
Prod assoc
Prod asst
Prod staff
Prod staff
Asst prod supv
Teamster capt, Location unit
Prod office coord, Location unit
Asst accountant, Location unit
Asst to unit prod mgr, Location unit
Loc asst, Location unit
Loc asst, Location unit
STAND INS
Stuntperson
Stuntperson
Stuntperson
Stuntperson
Stuntperson
Stuntperson
Stuntperson
Stuntperson
Stuntperson
Stuntperson
Stunt coord
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the previous Amityville films and the novel The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson (Englewood Cliffs, NJ., 1975).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Amityville 3: The Demon
Release Date:
18 November 1983
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 18 November 1983
New York opening: 18 November 1983
Production Date:
began late January 1983
Copyright Claimant:
Dino DeLaurentiis Corporation
Copyright Date:
17 September 1984
Copyright Number:
PA223154
Physical Properties:
Sound
Recorded in Dolby Stereo® in selected theatres
Color
Lenses/Prints
Filmed in ArriVision 3-D
Duration(in mins):
109
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
27133
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Amityville, New York, John Baxter, a writer for Reveal Magazine, and his photographer, Melanie, attend a séance at a house that was once the site of a brutal multiple murder. Posing as a couple in mourning for their deceased son, John and Melanie expose psychics Harold and Emma Caswell as frauds, with Dr. Elliot West of the Institute for Psychic Research and David Cohler of the District Attorney’s office as their witnesses. The reporters return the following day, and are joined by Clifford Sanders, the real estate agent who owns the house. As they examine the Caswells’ special effects devices in the basement, Sanders falls through the floor into a dry well, and must be pulled to safety by John and Melanie. Later, Sanders assures John that he was unaware of the Caswells’ illegal activities, but adds that he was desperate for the rental income, as he has been unable to find a buyer. John dismisses the rumors surrounding the house and offers to buy it. Later, at the home of his estranged wife, Nancy, John removes the last of his possessions. He is joined by his daughter, Susan, and her friend, Lisa, both of whom are intrigued by John’s new home. Meanwhile, Melanie develops photographs in her darkroom, and notices two images of Sanders in which the agent’s face seems to be covered with flies. In Amityville, Sanders enters the house, then calls for John as he follows the sound of footsteps into the attic, where he ... +


In Amityville, New York, John Baxter, a writer for Reveal Magazine, and his photographer, Melanie, attend a séance at a house that was once the site of a brutal multiple murder. Posing as a couple in mourning for their deceased son, John and Melanie expose psychics Harold and Emma Caswell as frauds, with Dr. Elliot West of the Institute for Psychic Research and David Cohler of the District Attorney’s office as their witnesses. The reporters return the following day, and are joined by Clifford Sanders, the real estate agent who owns the house. As they examine the Caswells’ special effects devices in the basement, Sanders falls through the floor into a dry well, and must be pulled to safety by John and Melanie. Later, Sanders assures John that he was unaware of the Caswells’ illegal activities, but adds that he was desperate for the rental income, as he has been unable to find a buyer. John dismisses the rumors surrounding the house and offers to buy it. Later, at the home of his estranged wife, Nancy, John removes the last of his possessions. He is joined by his daughter, Susan, and her friend, Lisa, both of whom are intrigued by John’s new home. Meanwhile, Melanie develops photographs in her darkroom, and notices two images of Sanders in which the agent’s face seems to be covered with flies. In Amityville, Sanders enters the house, then calls for John as he follows the sound of footsteps into the attic, where he is attacked by a swarm of flies. By the time John arrives, Sanders is in the throes of death. Melanie reaches the house as paramedics remove the body, and shows John the photographs, but he explains the anomaly as a probable defect in the film. She then brings the pictures to the Psychic Research Institute, where Elliot promises a full investigation, although he doubts that anything is amiss. At the Reveal offices, John leaves work early to meet with a literary agent, and invites Melanie to join him at his home for dinner that evening. On his way to the meeting, John is pestered by a fly as he enters an elevator, which suddenly stops between floors, speeds toward the roof, then drops to the bottom floor. He emerges shaken, but unharmed. Melanie arrives at the house ahead of John, as Dolores, the housekeeper, is leaving for the day. When Melanie is alone in the house, the temperature drops dramatically, and a frigid wind bursts from the basement, pinning her to the opposite wall. John returns home to find Melanie in a state of hysteria, and she swears to never return. Susan and Lisa explore the house in John’s absence, recounting the murders committed there years earlier. They move to the basement, where Lisa recalls a rumor that the property was once a Native America burial ground, infested with the ghosts of the interred. When Susan returns home, Nancy forbids her daughter from visiting the Amityville house, convinced something evil haunts the place. That night, when Melanie discovers a demonic face in photographs of the well, she places them in a file folder and drives toward the Institute for Psychic Research. A fly buzzes around her head as the brakes cease to function, and she crashes her car into a parked truck. The folder bursts into flames, which spread through the car, reducing Melanie to a charred skeleton. Days later, Susan defies her mother and brings her friends, Lisa, Jeff, and Roger, to the house, where they hold a séance in the attic, using a makeshift Ouija board. Ignoring the board’s warning that Susan is in great danger, they go for a ride in a motorboat docked nearby. When Nancy is unable to locate her daughter, she drives to Amityville. Once inside the house, she encounters Susan’s ghost, soaking wet and silently ascending the stairs to the attic. Outside, paramedics struggle in vain to revive Susan after she is pulled from the water. John arrives moments later and tries to convince Nancy that their daughter is dead, but she refuses to believe it and waits for Susan in the attic. The next morning, John awakens to find the kitchen in shambles while Nancy calmly irons Susan’s clothes, explaining that their daughter caused the damage in order to prove she is still alive. Concerned for Nancy’s sanity, John consults with Elliot, who offers to perform a complete scientific investigation of the house, to determine the presence or absence of supernatural activity. Elliot and his team place cameras and other monitoring devices around the property as Nancy remains seated in the attic. Suddenly, a purple apparition appears, and Susan’s voice is heard beckoning her mother to join her in the afterlife. Nancy follows the apparition into the basement, followed by John and Elliot, who prevent her from approaching the well, now filled with churning water. Elliot believes that the force from the well killed Susan, and intends to confront it. A demon rises from the water, breathes fire into Elliot’s face and pulls him into the well. With his final breath, Elliot tells Susan to save herself, and the apparition fades away. As the well bursts into flame and explodes, an icy wind blows through the house, tearing it apart from the inside out. John, Nancy, and only a few members of Elliot’s team escape before the house explodes. In the middle of the smoldering wreckage, a glowing purple fly buzzes around the well, spreading flames over the surface of the water. +

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

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