Woman librarian devotes life to caring for wheelchair-bound tyrannical father after being stood up at altar. She fantasizes his death and finds joy only with her pet monkey. Monkey ... See full summary »
Woman librarian devotes life to caring for wheelchair-bound tyrannical father after being stood up at altar. She fantasizes his death and finds joy only with her pet monkey. Monkey disappears and a shocking past is revealed. Written by
Bill Smith <email@example.com>
When Louise is hitting her father in the face with the chocolate cake, there is a mirror behind them. In the mirror you can clearly see the cameraman's legs - he's wearing white tube socks and dark shorts. See more »
This is NOT a horror film. Like its "prequel," "The Killing Kind," it's more a psychological study of how nasty parents can really mess up their children's lives, and how ironically nasty life can be.
Louise, brilliantly played by the wonderful, under-utilized and now-departed actress Carrie Snodgrass, is a spinster librarian with a hateful, controlling, wheelchair-bound dad played with unashamed evil glee by Ray Milland. Louise is depressed beyond belief--she's never gotten over the loss of her fiancée who disappeared 19 years ago, or an accident that led to her father being in a wheelchair. She does anything she can to cope: attempts suicide, masturbates, has a one-night stand, plans vacations she'll never have the courage to take, retires from her job and even takes care of a chimpanzee. But she's not a balanced person--she constantly fantasizes about rejecting her abusive and mean father and loses track of reality on occasion. She was admits to being involved in a library arson, and that she'd do it again. She drinks a little too. But things seem to be going her way at last when Louise makes a friend out of a co-worker, a sincere young woman who boosts Louise's confidence, and gives her hope, sets her on the road to recovering her self-esteem and her life.
But, as in "Carrie," happiness is not in the cards for Louise, and it all comes to an end in a series of ironic surprises, and a stormy conclusion in a creepy attic where unpleasant truths are finally revealed.
This is not a horror movie--it's not scary or gory at all. You have to be in the right mood to enjoy this movie. You have to be depressed, and feeling hateful, and old, and grief over the loss of someone or something you love to really get into this movie. You have to feel like the world is an unfair, cruel place to live, and be interested in a movie that confirms your worst fears...the world IS against you! There are some wonderful moments of black humor--the secret Ray Milland has been hiding about his health is somehow so cruel it's almost funny, and listening to Carrie Snodgrass break out of character and scream is a wonderful experience. Some of Louise's fantasies show her screaming or acting sly and seductive in that unusual voice of hers, giving just a hint of what Ms. Snodgrass might have delivered had more roles come her way. Ray Milland's hatred of the "Dicky the chimp" is hilarious, even as it degrades a once great actor in his declining years to be in such a role in, basically, an exploitation film. But I can't stop laughing when he first sees Dickey..."What in God's name is THAT!??"
It's not a great film, and hard to categorize; I have no idea who would have put up money for something like this, let alone how they got the actors they did. It's more sad than scary, and you really have to be in the right mood to watch a character who's life was pretty rotten almost get better, then fall into a bottomless pit of hopelessness.
Or maybe the implication is that Louise went on after this movie, and was able to start her life over, having broken the spell of the past that kept her from moving forward. Somehow, I highly doubt it though...!
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