Cameron’s Closet (1988)

I first saw CAMERON’S CLOSET close to the year of its release.  I always remembered this film fondly and enjoyed it a couple of years ago when I watched it.  Full disclosure, the last time I saw it I was drunk and the first time I saw it I was eleven.  What the fuck was I thinking.  It was a fond memory but it is a shitty reality.

Cameron is a young boy who possesses psychokinetic powers.  His father Owen Lansing first notices this as Cameron is playing with his toys.  The boy has two favorite toys an action figure he calls Champion and an odd hellish statue he calls Deceptor and he spends the majority of his time playing with them in the closet.  Later Owen (Tab Hunter) realizes that the experiments have allowed a demon from the pits of hell out in the world and it lives in … Cameron’s closet.  Bent on ridding the world of the demon Tab Hunter goes into the closet to fight the demon and loses his head (unsure if there should be any subtext there or not).  In a pique of incompetence everyone related to the case decides that Owen’s death was a horrible accident.  It’s pretty easy to accidentally decapitate oneself with a machete after all no matter what contrivances are used to get you there.

Cameron moves into his mother’s home and quickly finds himself at odds the live-in creep boyfriend-Bob.  At this point the boy’s psychokinetic powers have fallen to the wayside.   While Mom is plastered to the rafters Bob decides to discipline Cameron and stop the madness of the child talking to himself.  “What’s in the closet?” he yells.  Boy howdy does he find out he throws the closet door open and two red flashlights roar at him and burn his eyes out before launching him out the second story window to be splattered on his precious Cadillac.

All the while there is a side plot involving the investigating detective and his recurrent waking dreams.  It falls to this detective Sgt. Talliafero to protect Cameron.  Eventually Talliafero and his shrink realize that the demon is behind all of the mayhem and wants to use Cameron as a gateway to this world and his closet as the base of operations.  It would be wrong to accuse CAMERON’S CLOSET of devolving into dry boring procedural but that would be a complement.  It would have made a badass short if the kills had been closer together and the story moved along without getting so damn talky.  It’s not even like its all exposition dump.  Some of it is but most of it is just meandering bull shit.

CAMERON’S CLOSET is directed by Armand Mastroianni whose earlier work includes HE KNOWS YOU’RE ALONE and THE SUPERNATURALS but it is nothing like any his previous works to give you a heads up as to what you are getting yourself into should you choose to check this out.  The flick is dry, boring and meandering with a few notable exceptions.  The kills are gruesome and I think the monster is the same one from ROCK N’ ROLL NIGHTMARE.  Like I said it would have been a badass short but its a suck ass feature.

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