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Written by / 4/13/2020 / No comments / , , , , , , , , , ,

ROBERT URICH IN WES CRAVEN'S TV-MOVIE 'INVITATION TO HELL'

Robert Urich as Matt Winslow in Wes Craven's INVITATION TO HELL Year: 1984
Being hassled to join the local gym can be downright annoying. They’ll say you need exercise, or that you should get out of your comfortable routine to meet people. Or both. But you want nothing to do with exercising or socializing or, in this particular case, climbing the corporate ladder...

Thus the dilemma for scientific researcher Robert Urich who, along with his wife Joanna Cassidy and kids — played by THE NEVER ENDING STORY actor Barret Oliver and PUNKY BREWSTER child starlet Soleil Moon Frye — moves to a small suburban town where a posh spa is the epicenter...
Susan Lucci as Jessica Jones in INVITATION TO HELL Rates: ***1/2
Run by Susan Lucci’s big-haired socialite Jessica Jones, Steaming Springs Country Club will push you ahead in the community — whoever joins seems to get higher paying jobs. Much like John Carpenter’s THEY LIVE four years later, it's a social commentary screaming that greed is not only evil, but the folks who want tons of money are not of this world.

The suspense builds nicely although the first five minutes we see pretty much everything: A car runs over Lucci whole, and yet she winds up miraculously alive and with piercing eyes, causes the driver to turn to cinder and ash: Thus the audience knows what Urich’s mild-mannered Matt Winslow is up against long before he does...
Robert Urich as Matt Winslow in INVITATION TO HELL
The seductive Lucci’s all phony smiles and just wants members for her club, and reluctant patriarch Urich becomes her prime target — an important researcher developing a spacesuit that will be used on a mission to Venus...

Able to withstand seething temperature and to locate non-human entities on a built-in grid, the suit becomes a creative device for the conclusion when it’s time for Winslow to journey into the hottest of hot places, residing within Steaming Spring's main sauna room: where all new members are indoctrinated, turned into their own form of Stepford-like clones.
Joanna Cassidy as Patricia 'Pat' Winslow in INVITATION TO HELL
There are good performances throughout, especially Cassidy’s frustrated suburban mother/wife. Yearning to be a member of the club and of higher society, she goes from a passive woman to a sinister, manipulating temptress while Urich plays the ROSEMARY’S BABY Mia Farrow role: a main character who's the last to know what’s going on, wielding enough curious vulnerability to allow surreptitiously sinister things to happen around him.

Fanatical Wes Craven fans, who prefer the auteur's bloody cinematic ventures (like the prior HILLS HAVE EYES and one-film-later, NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET) will be disappointed in the watered-down made for TV proceedings, but connoisseur's of lightweight, sci-fi-centered suspense will be pleasantly entertained from beginning to end.
Soleil Moon Frye as Crissy Winslow in INVITATION TO HELL
Barret Oliver as Robbie Winslow in INVITATION TO HELL
Susan Lucci leads the Winslow family down low in INVITATION TO HELL
Robert Urich as Matt Winslow in INVITATION TO HELL
Soleil Moon Frye as Crissy Winslow in INVITATION TO HELL
Patty McCormack as Mary Peterson in INVITATION TO HELL with Joanna Cassidy
Patty McCormack as Mary Peterson in INVITATION TO HELL
Lois Hamilton as Miss Winter in INVITATION TO HELL
Lois Hamilton as Miss Winter in INVITATION TO HELL
Robert Urich as Matt Winslow in INVITATION TO HELL
Joanna Cassidy as Patricia 'Pat' Winslow in INVITATION TO HELL
Robert Urich as Matt Winslow in INVITATION TO HELL
From Wes Craven's TV Movie INVITATION TO HELL
Susan Lucci as Jessica Jones in INVITATION TO HELL
From Wes Craven's TV Movie INVITATION TO HELL
Soleil Moon Frye as Crissy Winslow in INVITATION TO HELL
From Wes Craven's TV Movie INVITATION TO HELL
Robert Urich in INVITATION TO HELL w/ future Craven Swamp Thing actor Nicholas Worth

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