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People Under the Stairs Wes Craven wrote and directed this surrealistic horror-comedy, which was inspired by a true story of parents keeping their children locked in a basement for years. Fool (Brandon Adams), an African-American teen, breaks into the home of the wealthy landlords who evicted his family from a ghetto tenement. A fortune in gold coins is rumored to exist inside, but Fool discovers that the mansion is a chamber of horrors presided over by a pair of incestuous, serial killer siblings (Everett McGill and Wendy Robie). The twisted couple has also tried to raise a succession of kidnapped boys. Each botched effort is handled the same way -- the victim's eyes, ears and tongues are removed, and he's sent to live in the sealed-off basement, where a colony of similarly deformed "brothers" resides. Fool is able to avoid the evil lovers as he moves through the house's maze of hidden passageways. He discovers that the occupants have a daughter, Alice (A.J. Langer), who has survived their abuse, so he rescues her and they attempt to free the "people under the stairs." Shocker Wes Craven's Shocker takes media manipulation to a new level in this story of an evil force emitted from television sets that has the power to kill. The film centers on high school athlete Jonathan Parker (Peter Berg). His estranged father is homicide detective Don Parker (Michael Murphy), who has been working on capturing an elusive serial killer plaguing the town. One night, during a particularly vivid nightmare, Jonathan dreams that while Parker is away on an assignment, his family is murdered by the serial killer. In the dream, Jonathan can identify the killer -- local television repairman Horace Pinker (Mitch Pileggi). Amazingly, it turns out that Jonathan's nightmare was reality. Using Jonathan's dream as evidence, Pinker is brought to trail, found guilty, and sentenced to death in the electric chair. Before his execution, Pinker makes a pact with the devil so when he is electrocuted, the electricity from the chair will give his spirit powers of evil. At first, Pinker's murderous spirit travels in and out of people's bodies, prompting the host to commit murder. But when it seems more effective to communicate with people by television signals, the spirit is willing and soon people suddenly become possessed by Pinker's spirit through TV screens and engage in murderous atrocities. All this is done by Pinker to exact retribution upon Jonathan, who was responsible for sending him to his death.

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MC61100757 People Under the Stairs/Shocker Double Feature DVD (1991/1989/Wes Craven) $14.98