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Film / House II: The Second Story

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An In Name Only sequel to House, released in 1987.

Jesse has just moved into an old family mansion. Rummaging through old things, he learns that his grandfather's grandfather found a priceless crystal skull, and hid it in his grave. Jesse and and his buddy Charlie go digging, but instead of claiming the skull and becoming rich beyond their wildest dreams, they now have to look after a 170-year old zombie and protect the said skull from dark forces.


This film has the examples of:

  • Almighty Janitor: Bill Towner, an electrician with knowledge about alternate dimensions, a swashbuckling hero and a guy just doing his job.
  • Artist and the Band: Charlie and Lana invite themselves to stay at Jesse and Kate's new house while plotting to get Kate (a record company exec) to "discover" Lana's band, Puce Glitz and the Avoiders.
  • Big Bad: Slim Reeser's ghost is still seeking the skull, and must be stopped from claiming it.
  • Casting Gag: Like the first movie, it has an actor from Cheers in a minor role. This time, John Ratzenberger.
  • Cat Scare: Grandpa is alerted by noises coming from the fireplace, but it's just Bippy. He is then jumped by three extredimensional Mayans.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Grandpa Jesse's first question to his friends who have just crashed through the collapsed ceiling of his room, covered in non-local forest debris:
    Gramps: "Why didn't you use the stairs?"
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  • Comic-Book Adaptation: By Marvel Comics.
  • Crystal Skull: The MacGuffin that drives the plot.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Main protagonist Jesse was named after his grandfather's now-a-zombie-grandfather Jesse.
  • Denser and Wackier: While the first movie was no grimfest, The Second Story is still much more lighthearted.
  • Don't Call Me "Sir": Grandpa Jesse's reaction when he's referred to as "Sir".
    Don't call me sir, I ain't no politician!
  • Ghost Town: The climactic fight between Jesse and Slim (mostly) takes its place in an abandoned western town.
  • Guttural Growler: Slim, delivered by none other than Frank Welker.
  • Honking Arriving Car: The film begins with Jesse as a baby to be handed off to his adoptive parents. His birth mother calls out to her husband, "Clarence, they're here!" As soon as he responds, "I'll be there in a minute," an outside car begins honking loudly.
  • I Choose to Stay: In the final scene we see that Jesse and his friends decide to keep living in the Wild West Era. Considering in the modern era Jessie is thought to be a lunatic Cop Killer, he doesn't exactly have much of a choice.
  • Lighter and Softer: It's the only film in the series to not get an "R" rating.
  • Mirror Scare: During their showdown, Slim surprises Jesse by appearing in a mirror.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Bippy, a dog with a caterpillar body that was found in the Triassic period and brought to modern times by the main characters.
  • Random Events Plot: The only coherent thread tying the movie together is that bad guys from several different eras are trying to get their hands on the skull. Otherwise, cast members come and go as they please, and there's generally not much else in the way of a solid plot.
  • Rasputinian Death: Since he is a ghost, Slim takes a lot of bullets before going down.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Bippy the Caterpuppy.
  • Robbing the Dead: Realizing that Jesse McLaughlin was buried with the skull, Jesse and Charlie dig him up.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size. When the Barbarian tries to kill Charlie, a prehistoric rodents sneaks up behind him and snatches him up.
  • Shout-Out: The Barbarian's full name in the credits is Arnold the Barbarian.
  • Stable Time Loop: One way to read the last scene is that Jesse and his friends go back to the old west and Jesse will eventually end up becoming Gramps.
  • Virgin Sacrifice: After entering the alternate Mayan dimension, the protagonists end foiling a virgin sacrifice involving the crystal skull.
  • What Year Is This?: Naturally, when Grandpa Jesse gets up from his grave, he wants to know what year is it.
  • You Killed My Father: The final enemy Jesse confronts is the zombie of the guy who killed his parents, and avenges them by blowing Slim's head off.