Macabre…ish Horror Review: The Outing
The Outing aka The Lamp, 1987/ 1 hr 45 min
Three criminals break into a rich elderly woman’s house and burglarize it as she sleeps. But they are looking for money and can’t find it. When they accidentally wake her up, Harley (Hank Amico) violently demands money then commences to hacking up her walls looking for it.
What he finds instead is a chest with a lamp in it. After Harvey kills the lady, a bracelet unlatches from her wrist and falls to the floor. Then Harley works on prying the lamp open, when that doesn’t work, he rubs it then laughs at the foolishness of that. But something does happen.
The stopper, a little hand holding a jewel, spins and smoke escapes the lamp. The woman with the axe, still buried in her head, wakes up when a green light enters her and she grabs Harley as he reaches for the bracelet. Ramming his head into the other side of the the axe.
Meanwhile, the other two turn on some music, have a good time, drink and end up in the pool. While in the pool, that green light enters the water and wraps around Max (Brian Floores), killing him. Faylene (Michelle Watkins) runs upstairs and ends up getting killed, herself by the same entity.
When the cops arrive the next day, one of them puts the stopper back in the lamp. And it goes to a museum. When Dr. Wallace (James Huston), teen daughter, Alex (Andra St. Ivanyi), is left alone with the lamp and all the other artifacts, she finds the bracelet and puts it on but then can’t get it off. Once again, the lamp starts to unscrew the stopper. But before it opens completely, Alex and her dad leave.
The next morning she’s sees a genie in a lamp on a cartoon, that bracelet she’s wearing sparkles. So does the lamp that’s still in the museum. The Wallaces are having a rough start this morning, dad starts a fire and Alex gets run off the road by her crazy ex, Mike (Red Mitchell). Then at school he assaults her, her new boyfriend, Ted (Scott Bankston), and assaults and is beaten up by a female teacher, Eve Ferrell (Deborah Winters). It’s the final straw, he’s ejected from the school by the principal (Christopher Wycliff).
The next day, Ms. Ferrell’s class goes on a field trip to the museum where Dr. Wallace works. He and Ms. Ferrell are dating. While there, Alex sneaks away to look at the lamp again and is possessed by the jinn. But it doesn’t stay in her, it comes and goes, wreaking havoc where it pleases. Afterward, Alex convinces her friends who are also couples, Babs (Charity Merrill) and Ross (Barry Coffing), and Gwen (Tracye Walker) and Terry (Raan Lewis), to secretly spend the night at the museum. Violent bully, Mike finds out about it and intends to show up with his toady, Tony (André Chimène) and be a menace.
During Dr. Bressling’s (Danny D. Daniels) research he discovers the lamp in a photo that was also found in the elderly woman’s house. The lamp is in the photo with a woman and her child, the little girl is the elderly lady. It originates from Iraq and during the family’s journey abroad, everyone on the voyage died except the little girl.
An invisible entity, the jinn, travels through the building, narrowly killing people with artifacts, and Ms. Ferrell can feel it’s presence. It ends in Dr. Bressling’s office, causing him to levitate and be carved up by his ceiling fan. Upon finding blood in the doctor’s office, his remains falling on him from the fan, the opera singing security guard, Jeff (Coy Sevier) is killed by a spear that moves and is thrown by itself.
The teens sneak in with the help of Alex distracting a security guard, the plan is to spend the night in the basement. Oh and Mike made it in too, the possessed Alex makes sure he can get in. When the jinn leaves her, she has no idea why they are all here and her friends are concerned. But they settle in for the evening to have a good time.
In the specimen room, Ross is torn in half before the jinn releases poisonous snakes who bite Babs to death. And all the while Mike and his lackey lurks looking for opportunity and rope. While Terry, looks for drinks, he is locked in the room by the duo, and discovers Ross and Babs’ dead bodies. He doesn’t notice when a viper climbs up his trousers and bites him to death.
Gwen is alone playing dress up when a nearly naked and masked Mike and Tony arrive, while Mike rapes her, the jinn spins Tony’s head 360 degrees on his neck. And uses his horned mask to impale Mike.
When Alex and Ted goes looking for everyone, they find three of their friends locked inside and dead in the specimen room. They run for help but they are locked in and the phone’s are out. So they look for a security guard and find Bob (Roy Alan Wilson), dead at his station. Then a human specimen, is animated and the corpse bites Ted to death.
Meanwhile, Alex’s dad is on a date and after proposing to Ms. Ferrell, calls to check on Alex. They head to the museum and at first are locked out, then the door swings open. After running right into Alex, the Jinn shows itself. And since Alex wears the bracelet and released the jinn, she made an offhand wish and it intends to make it come true. She wished her dad was dead. The Jinn leaps toward Dr. Wallace, chasing them down. They need to find a way to destroy the lamp to stop the jinn.
This was directed by Tom Daley and it is somewhat expected 80s horror fare. I was surprised at the level domestic violence and rape in this, especially considering the perpetrator is a teenager. The physical effects and CG aren’t spectacular but they do the job.
TW: Teen domestic violence and rape