Middling horror spoof “The Halfway House” has the right ingredients — cult queen Mary Woronov as an evil nun, ridiculous rubber monster-in-basement, a deadpan approach to serving up the usual “gratuitous” T&A/gore — but could’ve used a little more divine inspiration in the script department. Results will divert genre fans on latenight cable and as a rental item.
Underplaying with a delicious malignance the material ultimately doesn’t make full use of — somebody give this woman first-rate lines in a worthy film, please! — ex-Warhol/Corman/Paul Bartel regular Woronov plays the imperious Sister Cecilia. Alongside spanking-fetishist Father Fogerty (Joseph Tatner) and leering handyman Lutkus (Cleve Hall), she runs the Mary Magdalene Halfway House for Troubled Girls, where hardbodied, pushing-30 Los Angeles bimbos go to get redeemed. (Mostly, though, they just take showers, have catfights and make out in Z-movie “lesbian” style.) Larissa (Janet Tracy Keijser) goes undercover as a resident to find out whether little sister’s disappearance is connected to the many “runaway” girls — who in fact were fed screaming to that tentacled green monster. Pic has nice poker-faced take on its absurdities, but real wit and imagination are in slim supply. Very modest production is professionally handled.