Haunting Fear (1990)

Haunting Fear (1990)
  • 348
  • R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release year: 1990 ()
  • Running time: 88 min
  • Original Title: Haunting Fear
  • Voted: 348

Victoria can't sleep: she's having bad dreams about being buried alive. Her husband Terry makes her go see Dr. Carlton, who she blames for her father's death. Unable to help her, he asks Dr. Harcourt to try and unlock Victoria's mental block with hypnotism. Meanwhile Terry continues an affair with his secretary, and worries about paying off a huge gambling debt. Terry could pay off his debt and be with his secretary if he could just get his hands on Victoria's money somehow.

1Brinke StevensVictoria Munroe
2Jan-Michael VincentDetective James Trent
3John Henry RichardsonTerry Munroe
4Delia SheppardLisa
  • Ha! You were actually expecting Poe? by 4

    First off...with names like Fred Olen Ray, Brinke Stevens and Jan-Michael Vincent, plus distributors like "Rhino" and "Troma" on the video box, you know what you're getting into with this one. B movie mania! If you're actually expecting to see a thriller "based on Edgar Allan Poe," then forget it and head straight for the excellent series of Roger Corman 60s Poe films. This is pure, unadulterated sleaze (with just a pedestrian attempt at a plot similar to "The Premature Burial"), complete with lots of R-rated, ready-for-video sex and nudity. However, it's certainly entertaining and fun in a slipshod kind of way...

    Brinke (who has three nude scenes in the first 30 minutes) plays rich, traumatized, insomniac housewife Victoria Monroe, whose fear of being prematurely entombed stems from her belief that the same fate befell her father (Hoke Howell). Her worthless husband Terry (Jay Richardson) has racked up some serious gambling debt (owed to a gangster played by Robert Quarry) and, with help from his kinky, blonde, European-accented sexpot secretary Lisa (Delia Sheppard) plots to do away with Brinke for her money. Name-value actress Karen Black drops in briefly wearing a blonde wig as a hypnotist (she's way too talented to be playing an insignificant role like this), 50s sci-fi/horror star Robert Clarke plays a doctor and family friend and Michael Berryman shows up for a decent nightmare sequence performing an autopsy on a still-living Vicki. Jan-Michael Vincent mostly sits outside a house in his car making goo-goo eyes as Brinke enters and exits the home.

    The kill-a-spouse-for-the-inheritance plot has been done a million times before, the ending is an unintentional laugh riot (concluding with a direct rip-off of the Zuni Fetish Doll segment in TRILOGY OF TERROR) and whoever created the awful stabbed face and decapitated head FX for this release needs to sharpen up on their skills a bit. Brinke does a decent job making her character somewhat sympathetic, but the biggest surprise of all is how good former Penthouse Pet Delia Sheppard is in her role. She stole every scene she was in and easily gave the standout performance here.

  • Jay Richardson takes the (heavily contested) prize for worst acting in this movie by 3

    I had fairly low expectations of this film, but nonetheless I was still disappointed. While there are some very pretty actresses in here, the level of acting was horrendously low. Jay Richardson takes the (heavily contested) prize for worst acting in this movie. Ay-yi-yi. Jan-Micael Vincent and Karen Black, clearly slumming, mailed it in. Brinke Stevens, with her husky voice and lovely visage, I tried so hard to like, but couldn't. To be fair, terror has to be one of the hardest things to do for an actor, but even so, she just didn't get it done. Delia Sheppard was the best of the major cast by far, and that was just adequate. The only believable acting came from the creepy Micael Berryman in a very small part. The aforementioned actresses, however, are major eye candy, so if you like that sort of thing, then check it out. If not, don't.

  • Worth it if you like Brinke or director Fred Olen Ray; everyone else - run! by 7

    Victoria Munroe (Brinke Stevens) is having nightmares that seem to be driving her husband Terry (Jay Richardson) nuts. Not because he fears for her well being, but because he wants her to die from her weak heart so that he can inherit her wealth and live high on the hog with his secretary Lisa (Delia Sheppard). Oh, and maybe pay off his gambling debt he owes to Italian mobster Visconti (the decidedly un-Italian Robert Quarry). Looking to speed up the process, Terry and Lisa decide to bury Victoria alive in order to scare her to death. Loosely based on Poe's "The Premature Burial" (hey, it has a premature burial), this Fred Olen Ray shocker is from his serviceable period with some decent FX, that same house he used in every other film (the brown one, not the white one) and nice photography by Gary Graver. This is probably the biggest role Stevens has ever had and she is fine as the stressed out wife. Her acting takes a slight turn for the worse when she is supposed to play psycho at the end. Jan-Michael Vincent, Karen Black, Hoke Howell, and Michael Berryman all got in one day of work in small roles. Vincent's role in the first half relies on him sitting in a parked car and staring at things. Ray obviously knew him well.

  • Better than you'd think by 7

    Looking at the box in the video store you will see names such as Fred Olen Ray, Brinke Stevens, Karen Black, and Jan-Michael Vincent. The kicker, of course, is "A Troma Team Release." These are not arguments for quality, and indeed there is no mistaking this film for anything other than a B-movie. However, it can be surprisingly effective, mostly due to the amount of heart Brinke Stevens puts into her portrayal of the lead character, the neurotic Victoria. If you want B-movie cheesiness and excess you'll uncover a fair helping of it here, but don't be surprised if you find yourself a bit more involved in the storyline than you originally expected.

  • This is a surprisingly engaging movie! by 6

    Well, I was prepared for a total trash fest, but ended up being quite engaged in this strange, Edgar Allan Poe-inspired, somewhat soft-core porn movie. Brinke Stevens plays a woman who has a horror of being buried alive. She has nightmares constantly, and she's terrified of going to the doctor. Her husband and his secretary (the wildly gorgeous Delia Shephard) eventually plot to use her fears against her to make her truly go mad. Jan Michael Vincent, (of who I am a big fan!), makes a very brief appearance in this movie as Detective Trent. He's actually there to spy on Brinke's husband, but ends up seeing Brinke and all her craziness. He meets her briefly, just to see that she is OK. (They unfortunately don't get any love scenes!) Anyway, there are some really fun horror moments in this - one dream where Brinke appears dead, but she's alive and is taken to the morgue. There is the obligatory Delia Shephard sex scene, but overall this is a worthwhile horror flick, especially if you are a Poe fan or a Jan Michael Vincent fan!

1Gary Gravercinematographer
2Chuck Cirinocomposer
3Fred Olen Raydirector
4Christopher Rotheditor
5Diana Jaffeproducer
6Edgar Allan Poewriter