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Sixteen years after Ruby Claire's gangster boyfriend was shot and killed by four associates, a series of gruesome murders takes place at the drive-in movie theatre she now owns. Meanwhile, the behaviour of her mute daughter Leslie is becoming increasingly strange and a visiting psychic claims that forces from beyond are out for revenge. Written by
Ross Horsley <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The producer chose to change the ending, and both Curtis Harrington and Piper Laurie refused to be involved in the re-shoot. It was allegedly shot by Stephanie Rothman, who has neither confirmed nor denied her involvement. This ending, featured in the TV commercials at the time of the theatrical release, helped make it the box office success it was. See more »
A "lost" horror movie that should remain that way!
Horror movie with a needlessly convoluted plot. In 1935 a gangster's girlfriend named Ruby (Piper Laurie) sees her boyfriend shot down dead. At that moment she gives birth to his baby (!!!) The movie cuts to 16 years later. Ruby is an alcoholic running a drive in and Leslie is her daughter--born a deaf mute (I think). For reasons never made totally clear she has the guys who shot her boyfriend dead working for her in the drive in! Then they start getting killed--it seems Ruby's ex is coming back for revenge...
If that synopsis sounds confusing you should see the movie! Curtis Harrington is a good director and I'm giving this a 4 just because it is well-directed...it just doesn't make a lot of sense. I saw the director's cut which was thought to be lost. Harrington was fired before the movie was finished. The producer took the movie, cut out all the violence and shot scenes with a totally different cast! That was the one released. Harrington complained about it and said his version was gone. Somehow it was found and that's the one I saw. If this is the cut the director approved I can only wonder how bad the reedited version was! Scenes seem to end before they're finished; the plot meanders all over the place; there are way too many unanswered questions still lingering at the end; Ruby is inexplicably always dressed like a madam; the special effects are poor; the deaths are very poorly done (and look REAL fake); the twist at the end comes out of nowhere--and doesn't make a lot of sense and, basically, this is BORING!
Laurie is a wonderful actress but she's terrible in this. She appears to be drunk most of the time--or looks like she wishes she were. Stuart Whitman walks through his role. Janit Baldwin is actually pretty good as Leslie. And Roger Davis (fondly remembered from "Dark Shadows") pops up about 30 minutes in as a parapsychologist. He has little to do with the plot except have Whitman provide some clumsy exposition to him. It's supposed to clear up the plot--it doesn't.
A dull, confusing mess. Not worth seeing at all. It's really a shame-the VCI DVD looks just beautiful.
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