Some say that there are more films with Amityville in the title than there are stars in the universe. In 2022, 10 films bearing the title were released. You can’t copyright a town name so any zero budgeted horror film can be an Amityville film and most of them are crap. There is, however, a bunch of Amityville films that are considered part of the original series, i.e. sequels to the 70s original flick. This is one of them and this is the one who started the trope that the evil of Amityville isn’t bound to the house, but also its appliances.
It starts at a yard sale. Two old biddies buy the world’s ugliest lamp. One of them cuts her finger and gets an infection because of ghost bacteria, but not before shipping the lamp to her sister, Alice. As is tradition in ghost films, Alice’s daughter, the recently widowed Nancy, and Nancy’s children are moving into the house as the lamp arrives. Nancy is for some reason played by Patty Duke, Oscar winner, and mother of Sean Astin from the Lord of the Ring trilogy and Mackenzie Astin from The Garbage Pail Kids Movie.
Right from the start, the ugly lamp is all spooky. Lighting up its ugly bulbs to such a degree that it startles a parrot and causes indifference in a cat. Then, evil truly escapes as the ghosts move from the lamp onto the house electricity grid via the cord in the vein of a Looney Tunes film from the 1930s. We literally see a bulge in the cord move from the lamp to the wall.
As is also tradition, one of the kids is creepy and blonde. Nancy’s youngest daughter, Jessica, starts seeing and conversing with her dead father in front of the ugly lamp (The lamp is really, really ugly).
The lamp also kills a plumber with sewage. Thank heavens that the priest from the first one (?) figures out that evil escaped with the lamp.
Unlike the first three films, Amityville: The Evil Escapes was made for TV. No cinema could’ve handled this much pure escaping evil. As most 80s made-for-TV films, you can easily know that it’s made-for-TV by literally everything about it. The music is mostly random sounds, the acting is wooden and the effects are cheap. It was shot on film, though, so the Blu-ray video quality looks quite good.
Amityville: The Evil Escapes is not a good film, however it’s far from being bad. It’s sufficiently campy to be entertaining and the dead pan acting while the monster is a literal lamp makes it entertaining. Also, you won’t find another film that has a scene in which an old lady battles a lamp while the lamp’s cord is wrapped around a young priest’s arm.
And that ending freeze frame! Chef’s kiss.