House II: The Second Story (1987)

PG-13 | 91 mins | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror | 28 August 1987

Director:

Ethan Wiley

Writer:

Ethan Wiley

Producer:

Sean S. Cunningham

Cinematographer:

Mac Ahlberg

Editor:

Marty Nicholson

Production Designer:

Gregg Fonseca
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HISTORY

In a 4 Mar 1986 DV item, Walter Manley of Manley Productions announced that at the American Film Market, he had received $4.5 million in pledges from overseas distributors for a package of four films by producer Sean Cunningham, on the basis of Cunningham's huge success with horror films, including House (1986, see entry). One of the films would be a sequel titled House II: The Unexpected. A 22 Jul 1986 HR production brief noted the title as House II and the 1 Oct 1986 DV reported the title was changed to House II: The Second Story.
       The 28 Aug 1987 LAT review noted that Ethan Wiley, screenwriter of the original film, wrote and directed the sequel. Actor George Wendt, who co-starred in House, reportedly signed to appear in the sequel, however, the 21 Jul 1986 DV stated that Wendt ultimately chose to pass on the film. John Ratzenberger, Wendt’s co-star from the television series Cheers (NBC, 30 Sep 1982 - 20 May 1993), appeared in the sequel. The 1 Aug 1986 HR reported that Devin DeVasquez, the 1986 “Spokesmodel” winner of the syndicated television show Star Search (1983-1995), would make her screen debut in the film. End credits list her last name as “Devasquez.”
       According to the 30 Jul 1986 HR, the film’s budget was approximately $3 million. Principal photography began 1 Jul 1986 in Los Angeles, CA, the 22 Jul 1986 HR noted. Production notes in AMPAS library files report ... More Less

In a 4 Mar 1986 DV item, Walter Manley of Manley Productions announced that at the American Film Market, he had received $4.5 million in pledges from overseas distributors for a package of four films by producer Sean Cunningham, on the basis of Cunningham's huge success with horror films, including House (1986, see entry). One of the films would be a sequel titled House II: The Unexpected. A 22 Jul 1986 HR production brief noted the title as House II and the 1 Oct 1986 DV reported the title was changed to House II: The Second Story.
       The 28 Aug 1987 LAT review noted that Ethan Wiley, screenwriter of the original film, wrote and directed the sequel. Actor George Wendt, who co-starred in House, reportedly signed to appear in the sequel, however, the 21 Jul 1986 DV stated that Wendt ultimately chose to pass on the film. John Ratzenberger, Wendt’s co-star from the television series Cheers (NBC, 30 Sep 1982 - 20 May 1993), appeared in the sequel. The 1 Aug 1986 HR reported that Devin DeVasquez, the 1986 “Spokesmodel” winner of the syndicated television show Star Search (1983-1995), would make her screen debut in the film. End credits list her last name as “Devasquez.”
       According to the 30 Jul 1986 HR, the film’s budget was approximately $3 million. Principal photography began 1 Jul 1986 in Los Angeles, CA, the 22 Jul 1986 HR noted. Production notes in AMPAS library files report the exterior location for the film’s Romanesque house was the 1891 former Thomas Stimson mansion on Figueroa Street near downtown Los Angeles, which in 1986 was a woman’s dormitory at Mount St. Mary’s College. Interiors were filmed on an “enormous soundstage” at Laird International Studios in Culver City, CA, which shortly afterward became Culver Studios. An item in the 1 Oct 1986 DV announced that filming was complete. The 28 Aug 1987 LAT pointed out that despite being a sequel, House II had none of the original characters from the original House, nor did it use the same house.
       End credits include the following statements: “Filmed at Laird International Studios” and “Special thanks to Mark Sullivan, Cecelia Hall, Converse, Nike, Michele Lamy, Tony Lamas, Darren Galerkin.” More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
4 Mar 1986.
---
Daily Variety
21 Jul 1986.
---
Daily Variety
1 Oct 1986.
---
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jul 1986.
---
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jul 1986.
---
Hollywood Reporter
1 Aug 1986.
---
Los Angeles Times
28 Aug 1987
p. 8.
New York Times
29 Aug 1987
p. 11.
Variety
20 May 1987
p. 102.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
New World Pictures presents
A Sean S. Cunningham Production
An Ethan Wiley Film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam/D.P. 2d unit
2d asst cam
Gaffer
Best boy elec
Elec
Key grip
Best boy grip
Grip
Grip
Still photog
Cam systems by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Art dir
Art dept coord
Storyboard artist
FILM EDITORS
1st asst ed
Apprentice ed
Post prod facilities furnished by
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Asst set dec
Set dresser
Lead man
Swingman
Swingman
Prop master
Prop asst
Const coord
Const foreman
Set carpenter
Scenic painter
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost des
Asst des
MUSIC
Addl orch
Rec eng
Computerized mus copy
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Supv sd ed
Spec sd eff
Spec vocal eff
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Visual eff by
Supv, Dream Quest Images
Supv, Dream Quest Images
Matte paintings and stop motion flying creatures,
Motion control supv, Dream Quest Images
Tech, Dream Quest Images
Tech, Dream Quest Images
Tech, Dream Quest Images
Tech, Dream Quest Images
Eff photog supv, Dream Quest Images
Opt supv, Dream Quest Images
Opt compositing, Dream Quest Images
Coord, Dream Quest Images
Prod mgr, Dream Quest Images
Des/Supv, Stop motion unit
Stop motion anim, Stop motion unit
Model const, Stop motion unit
Cam, Stop motion unit
Ed, Stop motion unit
Armatures, Stop motion unit
Mechanical eff
Mechanical eff coord
Spec eff lead
Spec eff asst
Spec eff asst
Spec eff asst
Spec eff asst
Opticals and titles
MAKEUP
Makeup and creature eff des
Makeup artist/Hairstylist
Asst makeup/Hair
Creature/Makeup des, Makeup and creature des crew
Shop supv, Makeup and creature des crew
Crew, Makeup and creature des crew
Crew, Makeup and creature des crew
Crew, Makeup and creature des crew
Crew, Makeup and creature des crew
Crew, Makeup and creature des crew
Crew, Makeup and creature des crew
Crew, Makeup and creature des crew
Crew, Makeup and creature des crew
Crew, Makeup and creature des crew
Crew, Makeup and creature des crew
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Prod auditor
Asst auditor/Asst to prod
Prod coord
Loc mgr
Loc mgr
Unit pub
Transportation coord
Driver
Driver
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Computer systems by
STAND INS
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the film House written by Ethan Wiley (New World Pictures, 1986).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Series:
Alternate Titles:
House II
House II: The Unexpected
Release Date:
28 August 1987
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 28 August 1987
Production Date:
1 July--late September 1986
Copyright Claimant:
Sean S. Cunningham
Copyright Date:
30 September 1987
Copyright Number:
PA367330
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Prints
Prints by Technicolor®
Duration(in mins):
91
Length(in feet):
7,899
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Charles McLaughlin and his wife, Judith, send their baby, Jesse, away for the child’s safety. When they return to their mansion, a ghost named Slim Razor appears, demanding the crystal skull. The couple does not know the skull’s whereabouts, and Slim murders them. Twenty-five years later, Jesse and his girl friend, Kate, return to his family’s long-deserted home. Jesse notices something is missing from the fireplace mantel, and much of the electrical wiring is faulty. While Kate contacts an electrician and telephones her boss, John, at Heretic Records, Jesse looks through family photograph albums and discovers a picture of Jesse McLaughlin, his namesake and great-great-grandfather. Later, Jesse’s friend, Charlie, arrives with Lana, an aspiring singer who impresses Kate with her talent. The next day, Charlie joins Jesse in the basement, where he goes through family memorabilia. Jesse discovers a photograph of his great-great-grandfather holding a crystal skull with jewels in the eyes. Slim Razor, his great-great-grandfather’s partner, stands in the background. Jesse recalls hearing that the two men had a falling out over the skull’s ownership and became bitter enemies. A reference book on Mexican artifacts features the legend of the crystal skull and its power to unlock the mysteries of the universe and bestow eternal life on whoever possesses it. Theorizing that the skull is buried with his ancestor, Jesse and Charlie go to the family cemetery, dig up the grave, and discover the skull. As Jesse reaches for it, his great-great-grandfather’s decayed corpse comes to life. “Gramps” and Jesse introduce themselves, and Gramps, learning it is October 30, 1986, declares he has waited over seventy years for someone to dig him up. They return to the mansion, ... +


Charles McLaughlin and his wife, Judith, send their baby, Jesse, away for the child’s safety. When they return to their mansion, a ghost named Slim Razor appears, demanding the crystal skull. The couple does not know the skull’s whereabouts, and Slim murders them. Twenty-five years later, Jesse and his girl friend, Kate, return to his family’s long-deserted home. Jesse notices something is missing from the fireplace mantel, and much of the electrical wiring is faulty. While Kate contacts an electrician and telephones her boss, John, at Heretic Records, Jesse looks through family photograph albums and discovers a picture of Jesse McLaughlin, his namesake and great-great-grandfather. Later, Jesse’s friend, Charlie, arrives with Lana, an aspiring singer who impresses Kate with her talent. The next day, Charlie joins Jesse in the basement, where he goes through family memorabilia. Jesse discovers a photograph of his great-great-grandfather holding a crystal skull with jewels in the eyes. Slim Razor, his great-great-grandfather’s partner, stands in the background. Jesse recalls hearing that the two men had a falling out over the skull’s ownership and became bitter enemies. A reference book on Mexican artifacts features the legend of the crystal skull and its power to unlock the mysteries of the universe and bestow eternal life on whoever possesses it. Theorizing that the skull is buried with his ancestor, Jesse and Charlie go to the family cemetery, dig up the grave, and discover the skull. As Jesse reaches for it, his great-great-grandfather’s decayed corpse comes to life. “Gramps” and Jesse introduce themselves, and Gramps, learning it is October 30, 1986, declares he has waited over seventy years for someone to dig him up. They return to the mansion, and the skull glows as they restore it to the fireplace mantel. Gramps reveals the mansion is a temple that transcends time and contains alternative universes. Declaring that evil forces are always seeking the skull, he entrusts Jesse and Charlie with protecting it. The next day, Kate’s boss, John, arrives to meet Lana, and the three go to lunch. Meanwhile, as Jesse and Charlie question Gramps about Slim Razor, Gramps reveals that they had a gun battle to settle ownership of the skull, and Gramps left Slim to die in the desert. Later, they hear music and go upstairs where a Halloween party is in progress, and Charlie admits he invited friends for a costume party. Everyone assumes Gramps is in costume. Jesse is surprised to see his former girl friend, Rochelle. When the skull begins to glow, a monstrous warrior appears, grabs it, and runs into an upstairs bedroom. Jesse and Charlie follow, but discover the bedroom door leads to a pre-historic world. Gramps insists he will die without the skull, and begs them to retrieve it. Charlie gets guns from his car, gives one to Jesse, and together they storm into the alternate universe. The warrior attacks and disarms them, but he is suddenly eaten by a dinosaur. Jesse picks up the skull, but a flying pterodactyl snatches it and flies to a nest atop a tree. Jesse climbs to the nest and fights a baby pterodactyl over the skull, but the mother-bird knocks the nest, the baby pterodactyl, the skull, and Jesse out of the tree. They fall on Charlie, and crash through the ground into the basement of the house. They discover a caterpillar-dog creature has also fallen with them. The pterodactyl flies upstairs with the skull, and they chase it into the kitchen, where Charlie locks the creature in a cabinet. As John and Kate enter the house, Gramps hides in the closet. Hearing a noise, John believes Jesse is hiding Rochelle in the closet, and Jesse, attempting to explain the situation, opens the closet to reveal both Gramps and Rochelle inside. As the jealous Kate storms out with John and Lana, Jesse discovers the closet has a revolving door and that Gramps played a joke on him. Jesse feeds the pterodactyl raw meat in exchange for the skull. He hands the relic to Gramps, and goes to bed, but as Gramps replaces the skull on the mantel, warrior priests knock him unconscious and steal it. In the morning, electrician Bill Towner arrives to repair damage to the house, but he accidentally opens a hole in the wall that leads to another universe. Declaring that this is common in old homes, Bill joins Jesse and Charlie in their search for the skull. The hole leads to a temple where priests have placed the skull on an altar as preparation for a virgin sacrifice. Jesse, Charlie, and Bill fight off the priests, retrieve the skull, save the virgin, and return to the house. After Bill leaves, Jesse, Charlie, Gramps, the virgin, and the caterpillar-dog sit down for dinner. As Jesse thanks everyone, Slim Razor’s ghost rises from the table and shoots Gramps. He grabs the virgin and the skull, and runs upstairs. Charlie gives chase, but Jesse stays to help Gramps, who reveals that Slim murdered Jesse’s parents. Jesse follows the others to an upstairs bedroom and finds himself in an old Western town where Charlie and the virgin are being held captive. Jesse and Slim have a gun duel, and a bullet wound in the arm makes Jesse fall through a window back into the house. Outside, police cars arrive, and the sheriff, thinking Jesse is a sniper, yells for him to surrender peacefully. Inside, in a fight over the skull, Jesse fires his rifle at Slim and blows his head off. Grabbing the skull, Jesse hurries to save Gramps, but the old man declares it is time for him to move on. He is thankful the skull gave him the chance to meet Jesse, and suggests that Jesse get what he wants from the skull and then get rid of it. As they hug, Gramps dies. Outside, the sheriff insists that Jesse give up or officers will come in shooting. Slim’s headless corpse rises and fires outside, hitting the sheriff. Police return fire, killing Slim and igniting a fire. As the house burns, the baby pterodactyl flies upstairs with the skull, and Jesse follows with Gramps’ corpse and the caterpillar-dog. Heading into the universe containing the old Western town, they reunite with Charlie and the virgin. Jesse buries Gramps on “Boot Hill,” places the skull on the grave, and heads off with his friends for new adventures. +

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

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