Dick Baldwin's Reviews > The Amityville Horror

The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson
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's review
Jul 21, 2008

did not like it
bookshelves: frauds
Recommended for: people who like a good laugh

A family, who I shall call the Lootz family (for the sake of their privacy), moves into a house in Amityville, Long Island, where the terrible murders of the previous owners took place. Some twenty-eight days later the Lutz – er, Lootz, family flees in terror. Horrific things happened there. Blood dripped from walls; people floated about in mid air over their beds, there were flies everywhere. Worst of all, a marching band paraded through their living room at three a.m. All these horrors were orchestrated by a pig demon named Josie (name changed to protect the pig demon’s identity).

In order to calm their nerves and find some closure, the family set down their true story with the help of a journalist friend. This book became a major bestseller and was turned into a popular movie starring Margot Kidder. Other Amityville Horror movies, albeit fictional, followed in a sort of Amityville feeding frenzy (do remember that the setting for “Jaws”, Amity, was based on Amityville), and the original was even remade with Melissa George playing Margot Kidder, er, Mrs. Lootz. There is probably tons of other tie-in merchandise spawned from the book that I’m not aware of. Amityville House Coffee Mugs (“Good to the very last drop … of blood”), for example. Or Jody the Pig Demon rocking chairs – oops, I mean Josie the Pig Demon rocking chairs. There must have been beach towels and beach balls, floating action figures, and T-shirts, too. I’m sure someone marketed Amityville Horror Fly Swatters and Li’l Ghoulie Marching Band toys.

As a postscript: the family moved far, far away from Amityville to Arizona where, they said, the demons and ghosts followed and haunted them. Sad to say, though, the supernatural entities lost lots of their powers in the move. There was no book to bear witness to the burden these people bore, so subsequently no movies or merchandise. Josie couldn’t even get the cost of the new home returned. The poor Lootz family had to muddle through with just the licensing and residual fees off the back of the first book.
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