The world mourns horror visionary Wes Craven today, and with that naturally comes a look back at some of his masterpieces -- A Nightmare on Elm Street, Last House on the Left, Scream and more. But no one is talking about another Craven masterpiece (of a different kind). Specifically, the completely bonkers 1984 TV movie called Invitation to Hell.
Invitation to Hell starred Susan Lucci (of All My Children fame), Robert Urich (known best for Spenser: For Hire or Love Boat: The Next Wave, if you're either insane or a Love Boat enthusiast), Soleil Moon Frye (Punky Brewster) and Joanna Cassidy (Blade Runner, Six Feet Under and Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead's "Right on top of that" Rose). La Lucci plays Jessica Jones (no, not that one), the owner of a VERY EXCLUSIVE health club/spa in California that married couple Urich and Cassidy are pressured into joining. As is often the case in Southern California, the spa is actually a portal to hell (you get there via the steam room) and Lucci is, essentially, Satan.
Highlights include Robert Urich spending 20 minutes in an astronaut suit, Lucci dressing like a mix between one of the Lizard people from V and an extra from Jem and the Holograms and Soleil Moon Frye getting sucked into hell only to come out possessed by a demon, doing her best Kathleen Turner impersonation and trying to kill her stuffed bunny (it's at 1:12:48 if the video below doesn't jump to it right away).
In any case, its tons of fun, the 1980s at its finest, and was actually the project Craven shot just before A Nightmare on Elm Street. The fact that Susan Lucci and Wes Craven spent even a modicum of time together, let alone an entire movie working together, will never stop blowing my mind. Additionally, Invitation to Hell gave us the below, which is, perhaps, the most important thing to come out of 1984 minus A Nightmare on Elm Street and Mac computers:
Rest in peace, Wes Craven. You entertained us in so many different ways.