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 <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 »
The story takes place in 1951, but Ruby's drive-in has a wide screen, two years before wide screens were being built. See more »
Raw and gritty horror/exploitation movies from the glorious '70s decade simply can't start any better than "Ruby" does With a fuzzy and soundless flashback, set in the mid-1930s, and witness the promenade of two young lovers in a Florida swamp area. Suddenly a car drives up and the four passengers that come out relentlessly execute the boy, Nicky, who apparently was an over-ambitious mobster. Now that's what I call an opener, and it even gets better, as we fast-forward to the year 1951 at a typical drive-in theater where a projectionist guy in his cabin inexplicably gets killed by his own film reel! Great stuff, but then of course the script has some explaining and character drawings to do, and the whole thing quickly crumbles apart like a cookie! It turns out that the murdered mobster's girlfriend Ruby now runs a drive-in and actually employs the retired assailants. Apparently Nicky extracts his vengeance from beyond the grave and to obtain this he also possesses the mind and body of their now 16-year- old daughter Leslie that he never saw getting born. So basically what we have here is a miscellany of gangster movie with revenge-flick and spiritual possession elements, and all this is served to us by an over-the-top bizarrely behaving Piper Laurie who was clearly asked to come across as unnerving as she did in last year's box office hit "Carrie"! I will gladly admit that I personally stopped paying attention to the incoherence and numerous holes in the script, and simply tried to enjoy the crazy murder sequences and wonderfully trashy atmosphere and scenery as much as I possibly could. Quite frankly I can't explain why little Leslie walks around like a spider just as Linda Blair did in "The Exorcist", or what exactly is the added value of Roger Davis' character, or even whether or not it gets revealed that Ruby did betray her lover all those years ago. Fact remains, however, that "Ruby" contains a handful of awesome moments that are simultaneously odd, cheesy and disturbing! Mobster bodies' are being tossed around and smashed against trees, the flamboyant Ruby spies on her drive-in employees through a telescope whilst being drunk and one poor sucker even ends up hacked up in a soda vending machine. Perhaps director Curtis Harrington ("Queen of Blood", "Whoever Slew Auntie Roo?") and his crew could have done even more with the smart drive-in setting, but they already include a couple of atmospheric moments, like for example when Ruby finds herself all alone in the middle of the drive-in parking and haunted by her murdered lover's voice coming out of all the separate speakers. In conclusion, "Ruby" most certainly isn't a good movie if you analyze or review it thoroughly, but it contains multiple strong moments and memorable details to make it a must-see for admirers of 70s horror cinema (drive-in classics and otherwise)
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