Invitation to Hell (1984)

TV Movie   |    |  Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller


Invitation to Hell (1984) Poster

A family moves to a suburban town only to be coerced into joining a suspicious club.

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5/10
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  • Joanna Cassidy in Invitation to Hell (1984)
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User Reviews


25 January 2019 | TheFearmakers
7
| Wes Craven's television vacation
The setup makes zero sense. A guy with a really important job that would make him rich in the first place is being coerced into becoming rich by the same billion dollar business for which he has one of the most important jobs, and that's making a space suit that can detect who's human and who's not, and in that role is Robert Urich, acting like he doesn't want a nice car or to where nice clothes when, again, with his job, he wouldn't have a choice. Meanwhile, the low budget shows. His best friend gets a huge, beautiful office while the head of the entire corporation's office looks right out of a closet.

Basically a remake of The Stepford Wives only entire families are turned into those "robots" which aren't robots but soulless rich people all belonging to a health club. Susan Lucci is 80's beautiful and as the siren of hell, she's a formidable presence while Urich makes for a good hero as wife Joanna Cassidy gets the wishbone treatment throughout. Wes Craven directed this before getting big with Nightmare on Elm Street, and it's very entertaining.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

ABC-TV Daytime-series 1983 contract with actress Susan Lucci for her featured "Erica Kane" role on ABC's "All My Children" (drama series: 1970-2011), guaranteed Susan Lucci a 'first' - a night-time "Movie of the Week" for her guaranteed extension as "Erica Kane" on the ABC daily/weekly soap-opera series. The network's night-time MOW programing division optioned Richard Rothstein to write a mystery. A science fiction-horror thriller scenario, specifically for Susan Lucci for ABC's 1983-1984 MOW night time season of specials. This project was planned to give Susan Lucci a dramatic opportunity - in hopes Lucci would be nominated in the night-time EMMY Best Actress category. The producing team: Robert M. Sertner (producer), Frank von Zerneck (executive producer) and Phillip Wylly Sr. (executive in charge of production & production manager) were entrusted to develop the property. When production was initiated at Culver City Studios (aka:The David Selznick Studio), Petko D. Kadiev, an accomplished story-board illustrator, was brought on board to illustrate and storyboard the original script. Production designer/art director Hub Braden was hired to preliminary budget, scout and design the sets. Jerry Esposito (construction supervisor and coordinator) and Tony Saenz (location manager) also joined the production creative film team. No director had been selected. The ABC night-time network-programing Suits and the producers negotiated to hire Wes Craven as the "Invitation to Hell" MOW director; ABC wanted Wes Craven because of his unique previous television and feature film writing and directing accomplishments. By the time Wes Craven joined the project's creative team, much of the project had been developed. Craven set about studying the script, viewing story-board script illustrations, and collaborating with the creative team on a few of the conceptual requirements. Between scouting sessions, rewriting and tweaking script dialogue, Craven was engrossed in the production. Casting had already determined Susan Lucci, featured as the female "Lucifer" - Jessica Jones; Robert Urich was to play Matt Winslow; Joanna Cassidy was Urich's character's wife Patricia "Pat" Winslow; and Kevin McCarthy as Mr. Thompson. Dean Cundy was hired as cinematographer. Wes Craven and the producers conducted casting-meetings, selecting the final cast performers. While discussing the script motivation during scouting locations on a Saturday morning, the production designer Braden suggested to Wes Craven and Robert Sertner to embellish the film's ending, by adding a "Hitchcock twist" setting up a sequel for the star Susan Lucci. Bob Sertner turned to Wes Craven, exclaiming, "Why didn't we think of that!" The dynamic team feared the network "suits" response dealing with an added twist, altering or tampering with the network's approved script. The only Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Creative Arts EMMY nomination for "Invitation to Hell" was in the category of "Art Direction".


Goofs

Tom Winslow removes his helmet, messing up his hair. A second later, his hair is neat again.

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Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller

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