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Film / The Horror Show

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"Lucas, I'm coming back to tear your world apart... I'm going to fuck you up."
Max Jenke, making a dying promise

The Horror Show is a 1989 horror film.

The story centers around police detective Lucas McCarthy (Lance Henriksen), who becomes target for an otherworldly revenge from an executed Serial Killer "Meat Cleaver" Max Jenke (Brion James), whom he helped to bring in.

This film has the examples of:

  • Achilles' Heel: Jenke is a borderline Reality Warper after his resurrection and can't die since he's a ghost, but electrocuting him again will reverse it and render him mortal. McCarthy and his wife electrocute him at a power plant in his realm and do just that.
  • Arch-Enemy: Jenke to McCarthy. After Jenke kills McCarthy's partner and some of his other colleagues then it becomes personal.
  • Ax-Crazy: Jenke. He uses a large meat cleaver as a Weapon of Choice (henche his nickname) and he's a pure evil psychopath.
  • Badass Longcoat: Jenke wears it, even in death.
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  • Big Bad: Jenke's villainy in life and afterlife drives the plot.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Jenke after being electrocuted a second time in his realm, dragging him back to the world of the living and fully resurrecting him. As he's now alive again, he loses his powers and becomes mortal, allowing McCarthy to finish the job.
  • Came Back Strong: Jenke's pure evil and practice with electricity allowed him to come back as ghost far more dangerous than he ever was alive.
  • Chairman of the Brawl: When burning Jenke approaches Lucas after freeing himself from the electric chair, Lucas readies himself with a chair.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: After killing one cop in the flashback, Jenke puts his severed head on a table and writes "blue platter special" with blood next to it.
  • Dolled-Up Installment:
    • Thanks to having some of the same creative forces behind it, the film was released as a third sequel to House outside the US. The title stuck, and the official third House film had to be released as House IV.
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    • And as if that wasn't enough, it was also released as the seventh Evil Dead in Italy.
  • Evil Laugh: Jenke's ratty "hehehehe".
  • Flashback Nightmare: The arrest of Jenke by Lucas is shown through his nightmares.
  • Knife Nut: Jenke is so fond of his meat cleaver that he asks to be buried with it.
  • Large Ham: Jenke. After Leon and Raquin this is Brion James' hammiest performance.
  • Made of Evil: According to Campbell, Jenke has basically become this after death. The fact he was already pure evil to begin with is actually the reason he was able to come back to life.
  • Made of Iron: It takes a lot of voltage to kill Jenke on the electric chair.
    Jenke: All that did was give me a hard on!
  • No Range Like Point-Blank Range: Lucas makes sure Jenke is really dead the second time by sticking his gun in the psycho's mouth and pulling the trigger.
  • Once Is Not Enough: Defied. After Jenke is rendered mortal, Lucas fills him full of lead until he stops moving. He then walks over, sticks his gun in the psycho's mouth and fires. After all that happened, the man did not take chances making sure Jenke's was really dead that time.
  • Off with His Head!: Jenke's preferred form of murder.
  • Peekaboo Corpse: Vinnie's corpse in the basement provides this.
  • Rape as Drama: When Jenke captures Bonnie, it's implied that he raped her.
  • Shoot the Television: Lucas is tormented by visions of Jenke while he and his family are watching a stand-up comedian on TV. The visions drive Lucas to take out his police issued handgun and shoot the TV set, to the shock and dismay of the rest of his family.
  • Shower Scene: Completely gratuitous one provided by Bonnie.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: After Jenke is rendered mortal, Lucas fills him full of lead and doesn't stop until he stops moving. He then walks over, sticks the gun in his mouth and fires one last shot just to make sure he's dead for good.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Jenke starts adding "bitch" to his sentences during the climactic confrontation.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Jenke slices off a girl's head right on front of Lucas in the opening scene.
  • You Can't Kill What's Already Dead: Jenke is essentially invulnerable as a ghost, as he's already dead. It takes bringing him back all the way and then killing him in a way that didn't involve electricity to put him down for good.
  • Your Head Asplode: After Prof. Campbell's severed head in the other side reminds Lucas on how to defeat Jenke, he explodes.


Example of: