So Bad it's Good!

Shaun vs. The Outing (1987)

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Directed by Tom Daley

Starring Andra St. Ivanyi, Deborah Winters and James Huston

After a home robbery goes terribly wrong, an ancient lamp winds up in a museum where an evil genie traps some teenagers in the museum and kills them off in wicked ways.  Jafar is pissed!

Review

The film opens with a trio of yokels hell bent on robbing an old ladies home.  While they ransack the place, one of the robbers kills the old woman with the old axe to the head, which seems pretty harsh.  While the others enjoy the nearby pool, the other guy finds a fancy lamp and opens it up, unleashing a magical creature that dispatches them without the song and dance routine you would expect from a genie.

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What lovely green eyes you have.

The lamp becomes police evidence and is turned over to a museum to investigate it further.  The curator has a daughter, Alex, whose friends are trying to get her to let them spend a night in the museum.  She isn’t thrilled by the idea but after playing with the lamp and getting possessed by the genie, she makes sure they all get to spend the night.  They sneak into the basement where there are no cameras and the genie is free to do his thing.

The film is made like many in the genre before it only with a different gimmick, that of an evil genie.  This is where the film actually shines as it presents some pretty neat practical effects along with enough camera trickery to pull off some movie magic on-screen (along with cartoony effects drawn over and cheap fireworks going off for that extra “magic” feel.)  As silly as that may sound, the kills are much more interesting with the genie gimmick providing some quality kills including a guy cut in half in a pool, someone getting snapped in half…backwards, a head twisted off, and death by ceiling fan. 

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You ain’t never had a friend like me!

The majority of the cast is average yet likeable enough aside from the super racist rich kid and his sidekick.  They’re just as villainous as the genie, to be honest, as they go so far out of their way to bully and attack the loveable gang of teenagers.  They’re a pretty standard collection of horror tropes though the film throws in its own collection of oddball characters.  I’m talking about you, security guard who sings opera songs.  The hell is that about?

I should probably talk about the Jinn for a moment.  Usually unseen throughout the film, other than being represented by some bright green animation, it’s not until near the end that we finally see the creature.  It looks pretty good when it’s not moving, but it’s a stiff creature that’s voiced so terribly I couldn’t make out a word it was saying (and no subtitles on the disc.)  Whatever reason it was doing what it was doing will be lost to me, but the Jinn gets taken out too easily in the end though there’s plenty of fireworks so that made me happy.

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The face of evil.

Despite the staleness of the story (teenagers spend night in ____ and get killed by ____) the film does enough to separate itself from the pack with a killer genie and some unique kills.  That aside, it’s a fairly standard “dead teenager” movie (TM Roger Ebert) with a lacklustre ending that doesn’t live up to the rest of the movie. 

TL;DR

Story: 4 – Man, those teenagers will spend the night anywhere!

Blood: 7 – Some surprisingly good stuff to be found in the film, must’ve set a precedent of gory evil genie movies that Wishmaster just had to outdo.

Boobs: 5 – Boobs by the pool and in the bathtub!  Huzzah!

Overall: 6 – Far from great, it’s better than it had any right to be.  Watch it for the kills, stay to make terrible Aladdin jokes throughout.

Trivia

-“The Outing” as we know it is actually an edited version of a film titled “The Lamp.” The outing5American distributors cut almost twenty minutes from the film and edited it to make it much different than the original version, which can only be found in European and Asian markets.

-The Jinn is voiced terribly by Jackson Bostwick, who’s other claim to shame is being fired as Captain Marvel just two episodes into the 1974 series adaptation of Shazam!

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