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Cellar Dweller (1988) Review

Cellar Dweller is a 1988 American horror film directed by John Carl Buechler and starring Deborah Winters, Yvonne De Carlo, and Jeffrey Combs. The film was written by John Carl Buechler and released by New World Pictures.

The film tells the story of an artist who rents a loft in an old building, only to find out that it is haunted by the ghost of a previous tenant who was killed by her boyfriend. The artist then must use her own artwork to fight off the ghost.

Cellar Dweller is a fun and campy horror film that is sure to please fans of the genre. The acting is good, the effects are well done, and the story is interesting. The film is not without its flaws, however, as it is sometimes slow and the ending is a bit anti-climactic. Overall, however, Cellar Dweller is a fun and entertaining horror film that is worth checking out.

Decades ago a horror comic artist creates a supernatural fictional monster, the Cellar Dweller. After some unusual shenanigans involving an old book the monster jumps out of the comic world and into ours, full of rage. Not thinking too highly of this, the artist burns his creation and hopefully puts and end to it right there. Decades down the road a young girl who is an admirer of the artists, visits the colony where most of the Cellar Dweller comics where created looking to find out more about the mysterious artist of old. She doesn’t know it at first but she’ll have to contend not only some really unsavoury folks at the colony but the also the monster.

I honestly can’t remember seeing Cellar Dweller before, it’s one of those old gems that’s kind of been slotted by the way side. Well we managed to get a VHS copy so we thought we’d have a wee look at what this 80’s b-movie has to say for itself.

This is no stunner of a movie it has to be said but like a lot of the Empire movies that came out in the 80’s it has it’s own style that rubs off on me very easily. I did enjoy watching this, though it’s nowhere as good as some of the other titles that came out of the Empire stable.

The general acting quality is decent. Yvonne De Carlo (the original Lily Munster) is in here and whilst she ain’t as hot as she was in her younger years her acting ability hasn’t degraded one iota. Debrah Mullowney (Farentino) plays the main character and comic artist/fan. Her performance is believable enough even though the script material is such that she never truly has a chance to shine. Most of the other actors fall into a similar same category: decent but nothing special.

There is some gore in Cellar Dweller, though not really that much but what’s there is good. The scene where somebody gets decapitated stands out the best for me. Most of the other scenes are OK but again nothing special.

It’d be true to say that sums up Cellar Dweller the best: it’s OK but nothing special. As of yet no DVD release on this one it’s still old VHS tapes (though i think there’s some bootleg DVD’s flying around, most likely laserdisc or VHS transfers) i’m sad to say, though if you do get a chance to see it, go for it, there are worse movies out there for sure.


Cellar Dweller is a 1988 American horror film directed by John Carl Buechler and starring Deborah Foreman, Jeffrey Combs, and Yvonne De Carlo. The film was distributed by New World Pictures.

The film tells the story of a group of students who decide to break into the home of a reclusive artist in order to steal some of his paintings. However, the artist turns out to be a deranged killer who has been using the paintings to lure people into his home so that he can kill them. The students must now fight for their lives as the madman stalks them through the dark corridors of his home.

The film was met with mixed reviews from critics but has since become a cult classic.

Movie Details

Director: John Carl Buechler
Writer: Don Mancini
Actors: Jeffrey Combs, Brian Robbins, Pamela Bellwood, Vince Edwards
Release Year: 1988