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, ...
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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 <email@example.com>
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 »
After tearing up the screen in the 1976 film "Carrie", Piper Laurie again gets a showcase role she can relish. She plays the title character, a former gangsters' moll who now runs a legitimate business, a drive-in. Her old criminal associates are now employees at the place and begin to be killed in supernatural occurrences. It would seem that the big flame of her life, Nicky (Sal Vecchio), is seeking vengeance from beyond the grave. Nicky forces his spirit on his and Ruby's daughter Leslie (Janit Baldwin), a mute teenager who lives in a world of her own.
"Ruby" is an above average production of this kind, which benefits the most from a grim and gritty atmosphere that pervades everything. There's a somber quality to the script by George Edwards and Barry Schneider; there's very little in the way of humour. The gore is minimal but effective, and the special effects are likewise good. Horror fans will love the memorable soda machine gag. Curtis Harrington directs quite well, giving "Ruby" a good pace and a sense of eeriness.
Laurie very much dominates the movie as a character who is not always terribly sympathetic. She receives sturdy support from Stuart Whitman as her friend Vince Kemper, and Roger Davis as parapsychologist Paul Keller. The striking young Baldwin has a very expressive pair of eyes, and registers strongly in a role mostly without dialogue. The sexy Crystin Sinclaire gets some laughs as the slutty Lila June, who's always showing up at the drive-in with somebody new. 1930s star Fred Kohler Jr. plays the crippled old Jake Miller, and Len "Uncle Leo" Lesser is one of the doomed employees.
Only a weak and cheesy final shot cheapens the experience.
Incidentally, many viewers are bound to notice an anachronism: the events of "Ruby" take place in 1951, but the one flick played most often at the drive-in is "Attack of the 50 Foot Woman", a 1958 classic.
Seven out of 10.
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