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Omnibus: Whistle and I'll Come to You (1968)
Season 1, Episode 17
10/10
Whistle And I'll Be Too Terrified To Move....
12 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Utterly terrifying. Truly. As a horror flick fanatic from an early age, there's very little in the genre that actually scares me anymore. I mean, REALLY scares me. Most horror/thrillers just entertain me, but that heart pounding 'scared' is virtually impossible to get out of me. Enter, Whistle and I'll Come To You. The tone is set early on. A fairly desolate inn near seaside cliffs, where a lonely old academic has chosen to take a holiday. The character is a sweet old man, but not the most socialized. He's stuck in his academic world, can't seem to properly converse with others, and is very staid in his opinions that everything has a scientific basis and explanation. You can literally watch his descent into madness as he grows more and more isolated and unsure of himself and his surroundings. I love that you never really know what he summoned with that whistle he found by the grave. Was it a demon, a ghost, or just the scariest thing an old man can ever face...senility/dementia? As to the scares, this film triumphs where many horror films of today fail. It really IS terrifying. There were two scenes that I thought would cause my poor wee heart to come out of my chest! A truly frightening little tale. Perfect for a late night scare!
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Cape Fear (1962)
9/10
Terrifying. Simply Terrifying.
2 January 2013
I adore Robert Mitchum. The man was one of the most gifted actors of his generation...and unfortunately one of the most under-appreciated as well. His performance as Max Cady has given us one of the most terrifying and believably evil characters in the history of cinema. The only other character that comes close is Harry Powell in Night of The Hunter...again, Mitchum. The man is brilliant. Period. The foil to Cady's evil is Sam Bowden. Gregory Peck is, of course, brilliant in the role of the lawyer whose family is being terrorized by a man he sent up the river years ago, who has just been released from jail. Polly Bergen is equally brilliant as the tough as nails wife of Bowden. In fact, she steals the show in the final scenes! This movie keeps you on the edge of your seat and doesn't let up for a moment. One of the best thrillers ever made.
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3/10
And Soon You Will Loose Interest.....
29 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
At first I thought I'd made a mistake in watching the original 1970 version of this film before seeing this, remade version. I was wrong. The mistake was in watching this film full stop. Even if I hadn't seen the original...which, for those who haven't seen it, is extremely subtle, mysterious, and nail bitingly suspenseful...I'd still have thought this movie was awful. First, there is no mystery. Not long after the girl disappears, you see a flash of her being carried off. You can even tell who the man is! It's so predictable! The original has you wondering who can be trusted, if anyone, up until the very last scene of the film. This version makes the characters too one dimensional and answers most of the questions before you even have the time to ask them. No subtlety here at all! It's just boring and bad...actually, that's a bit harsh. It's not completely horrible, as the acting is pretty good and some of the shots are quite beautiful. For that, I'll give it a 3/10. Don't waste your time on this one. Find the original instead.
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Live Again, Die Again (1974 TV Movie)
6/10
Sounds a bit ridiculous, but really not a bad little film
4 January 2012
You know the kind of movie that, when you describe it out loud to someone else, sounds utterly ridiculous? Well this is one of those films. Thing is, though, 'Live Again, Die Again' is actually a pretty decent film. Donna Mills, as always, is gorgeous as the main character who's been cryogenically frozen for over 30 years and comes home to find everyone changed. Even harder for her to come to grips with is the fact that her daughter is apparently certifiable. And what's worse, she's got a lot of angst from growing up sans mama and seems to be intent on destroying anything that reminds her of her mother...especially her mother herself. Even though the slight 'twist' is somewhat predictable, there's still a lot of fantastic suspense build up in this film. It held my attention quite well. My only complaint is in the editing of the final scenes. The odd choice to use multiple shots in one frame and over the top of one another actually made it hard to figure out what was going on....and that's not a good thing when you're dealing with the climax of the movie. This is certainly not one of the best movie ever made. It's not even the best TV movie ever made, but all in all, it's a forgotten film that's worth giving a go. You won't be disappointed.
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Ben (1972)
7/10
First Time a Horror Villain Made Me Cry
3 January 2012
This is one of those films that you hear about for years but never get the chance to see. I've been aching to see this for ages, but never came across it until recently. It's not a bad little piece of early '70s horror, really. Actually, I only have two major gripes: First, the kid. He made me want to feed him to the rats for the majority of the film. The strange marionette obsession, the circus-like songs he 'wrote', the annoying heavy breathing when he'd supposedly overexerted himself....the kid's weird and in a male-Shirley-Temple kind of way. He's creepier than Ben ever thought about being. But I suppose it was meant to make his outcast status believable, in which case it works beautifully. No other kid in their right mind would hang out with Danny! My second gripe is with the climax of the film. Frankly, it just runs on too bloody long. Seems like watching the same scene over and over for twenty minutes, which is monotonous. Aside from these two small quibbles, I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed 'Ben'. I've never had a horror villain make me cry before, but Ben not only had me all weepy at the end but I was rooting for him pretty much the whole movie. He's just so darn cute!
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Terror (1978)
4/10
Really? That's the end? Really?
31 December 2011
Right, so at first I was quite intrigued by this film. The beginning was a bit overdone and campy, but looked promising...B movie promising, that is. Then comes the realization that the beginning scenes are in fact a movie within a movie. Cue the ACTUAL movie. It seems as though the film maker is the descendant of the woman killed by the witch in the film we've just 'watched'. I was slightly intrigued again as this character was played by John Nolan, who I had just seen in an episode of Thriller, In The Footsteps of a Dead Man, from four years earlier which was quite good. Unfortunately, Terror just didn't live up to my hopes. The plot of the family curse by a witch is an old one and, while done well, can make a hell of a film, wasn't done in a convincing manner here in my opinion. The victims of the 'family' curse were mostly random bit players in the film not the 'descendants' who were supposedly 'cursed'. The deaths were nice and gory if you like that sort of thing. Unfortunately I generally don't unless the film is amazing and the gruesome deaths relevant...here, it's not and they aren't. There are many many scenes that just seem to go on for far too long in this film leaving you thinking, "Is this actually GOING somewhere or were they just padding the heck out of this movie?". The answer every time was, "No." and "Yes.", respectively. Then we get to the end...errr, the second 'end'. Literally, left me saying, "That's it? Really? That's the end? Really????
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3/10
Z Movie.....as in zzzzzzz.....
27 December 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Took me two viewings to see this film in its entirety. First time, I fell asleep less than halfway through. It's a mighty slow starter, folks. Once it does get going though, well, it's not much better. The premise is alright I suppose, for a B horror. Quite typical, really. Bad hippies/ex cons/psychotics on bikes terrorizing people for the hell of it. The acting was suitably bad, the victims were obligingly stupid and helpless. It was predictable as can be from the quiet girl getting killed to the third biker crashing but miraculously recovering in the end to save the day. Actually, it's a pretty standard B movie, which I'm normally a fan of. But I still can't give it higher than a 3/10, mainly because of the needlessly disturbing content and the rape scenes. Even a good movie has a hard time justifying those, and this ain't no good movie.
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9/10
Super Scary!
26 December 2011
This episode scared me to death as a kid. I had nightmares for weeks!! In fact, it's the episode that I always remembered having nightmares about, which led me to research the whole series and watch it. Not to mention, it made me a mad fan of Hammer in general. As I got older, I couldn't remember if it was a movie or TV show and it was years before I finally tracked it down online. And it was just as good as I remembered!! The birthday party scene is truly terrifying. There is enough blood and gore to keep the slasher fan placated. But not so much that those of us who prefer atmosphere cannot enjoy every minute. In all, it's very creepy and has a well thought out plot. This is the best episode of one of the best horror series ever! Too bad it only lasted a season!
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9/10
Wow. Just Wow.
28 November 2011
I'm so glad that I took the time out to watch this gorgeously grotesque film!!! I'd always heard it was good, so when I ran across it, I was anxious to see if it really was as good as its reputation. Boy, was it ever! The Gothic creepiness is terrifying. The cast, especially the daughter, are amazing...how she can convey so much through that mask with just her eyes is just wonderful and tragically scary at the same time! Most importantly, the story is well thought out and presented. I love films that make me at least feel a bit of a connection with the 'bad guy'. The doctor, while being a serial killer, is still kind of pitiful. I mean, he's doing all this for the sake of his daughter who he obviously loves more than anything. The scenes of him consoling her are actually quite sweet. Course next thing you know, he turns around and knocks off some random girl for her face! But he's doing it for his poor disfigured little girl!! The ending is beautiful. Slightly grisly, but beautiful. This is a fantastic film! Go see it!! You won't be disappointed!
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This House Possessed (1981 TV Movie)
6/10
Nice mood, but falls a bit short
28 November 2011
Warning: Spoilers
First off, I DID actually enjoy this film. The suspense was definitely there, the cast was pretty darn good, and the action was fairly constant, which is more than I can say for a lot of similar films of this period. The worst grievance I have really is that I felt a bit was lacking in the explanation of why the house was possessed in the first place. While I understand that it loved 'Margaret' and wanted her to stay, there was no real explanation of just where the house acquired this personality of it's own. Two other little (really silly)annoyances: One, why did they continually drive around with that bloody back window open on the SUV all the time? And two, what was up with all the bloody singing? I understand he was supposed to be a rock singer (more like lounge singer, but I digress), but why on earth was I subjected to so much of that cheesiness? OK, OK, so it is the ever so slightly endearing cheesiness of an early '80s film, so it's kind of cute...but at one point, I was waiting for the house to hurry up and do him in already so he'd shut up! But all in all, I must admit that I didn't feel as though I'd waisted my time on This House Is Possessed. Actually, I kind of enjoyed it! Worth a viewing.
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Johnny Cool (1963)
7/10
Henry Silva Shines
23 September 2011
Nice little mob movie. And not a bad little showcase for a few Ratpack members either. Great actors...Elizabeth Montgomery, Henry Silva, Jim Backus, and Telly Savalas to name a few. Silva is in his element here, playing a gangster sent to avenge the deportation of a mob boss who can't get back in the country to settle the score himself. No one plays a better heavy than this guy! So cold and calculating! Silva's Johnny is one creepy character! Perfect! Montgomery is absolutely beautiful and shows the beginnings of a great career. No wonder she became a star!!The film itself I found to be a bit slow and, at times, ever so slightly confusing. Even so, I enjoyed it and would watch it again if only to marvel at the talent of Silva.
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Frozen (I) (2010)
7/10
Not a bad little film
21 September 2011
I decided to watch this film this morning in a sort of, "Well, nothing else is on..." kind of way. I didn't expect to be blown away by it and actually expected that I'd get bored of it fairly quickly. Boy was I wrong! Initially the plot of the film sounds a bit monotonous (and similar to the agonizingly bad Open Water): three skiers get stuck on a lift. But it really is an edge of your seat, this could really happen, what would I do in this situation sort of movie. The acting is pretty darn good, the action is surprisingly gripping, and the location and direction is so good you can almost feel the cold. The only issues I had with the movie were small. Namely, their distance from the end of the lift. The guy at the bottom put the flag on the 'last' seat just seconds before they got on. They wouldn't have been that many seats away from the top. Plus, I doubt that three people could POSSIBLY be so stupid as to actually try the things they do in order to get down. But, I digress. If the characters had common sense, we wouldn't have a very good horror movie, would we? Anyway, not a bad film in the end. In fact, it's pretty darn good. 7/10
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The Forgotten (1973)
5/10
Worth the wait....kind of...
12 September 2011
Don't Look In the Basement is a movie I've tried to watch several times. While in college, I must have seen the first 10 minutes at least 10 times. Something always happened to prevent me from seeing the film from front to back. Finally, it was on television the other night and I was lucky enough to catch the whole thing. I'll start with it's good points: First, it's got a good, creepy atmosphere. The house it's filmed in in sufficiently run down and middle of nowhere. The inmates of the asylum are extremely entertaining. The plot is decent.

Now for the bad: The film quality is quite bad as is the audio...but the budget being what it was and the times what they were, I can forgive that. Plus, I suppose it could be argued that the lack of quality adds to the atmosphere a bit. Even though the characters are quite entertaining...sometimes for such wrong reasons that you almost feel guilty for laughing at them...the actors are terrible. Except for Sam, the seemingly sweet, and innocent bear of a man with a heart of gold and the mind of a child....and a LOT of unresolved issues!!! He was actually really creepy and fairly well played. Although every time he picked up one of those popsicles, it reminded me of a Bill Cosby Pudding Pop commercial. Come to think of it, that's probably what made him seem so creepy! Even though the plot is decent, it's pretty predictable. I saw the 'twist' coming from the young nurse's first interview with the acting head doctor....although maybe that's because I saw a modern film last week that had the exact same plot and I assumed this one would be the same? Anyway, not a bad little slasher film. I'm glad I finally got to see it uninterrupted.
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Cry-Baby (1990)
9/10
"You've made me the happiest juvenile delinquent in Baltimore..."
12 September 2011
First and foremost, this is a spot on parody of 1950's juvenile delinquent films. If you've never seen any of the old movies it's making fun of...or if you just don't get satire...then you may not like Cry Baby. But if you're fan of Rebel Without a Cause, The Wild One, The Deliquents, etc...well, then you simply shouldn't miss this film.

Wade 'Cry Baby' Walker is the bad boy who is, in reality, not so bad. He has a soft side and is in love with the squeaky clean good girl, Allison. Their affair causes a rift between the two social factions of Baltimore, the rich kid 'Squares' and the cool kid 'Drapes'. The characters are way over the top, the dialog is oh so clichéd....and that's what makes it fantastic! The soundtrack doesn't hurt either! Just like Waters' Hairspray, the soundtrack is almost a lead character itself. Even the choreographed, production numbers (which is something I'd normally hate) are extremely enjoyable because they're such obvious jabs at Elvis movie song sequences.

The cast of this film is just amazing. Johnny Depp is supremo hot and Amy Locane is great considering she was only 19 and just starting her career. Iggy Pop is PERFECT and absolutely adorable as Uncle Belvedere. Ricky Lake, Traci Lords and the rest of the 'gang' are a hoot! And of course there's Patty Hearst, Willem Defoe, and the legendary Polly Bergen and lovely Joey Heatherton (you'll find her unrecognizable as Milton's sourpuss, bible thumping mother!) The best thing about the cast though, was the inclusion of some of the actual old teen stars from the '50s in cameos: David Nelson, Troy Donahue. Fun script, fun cast...just FUN all around! 9/10
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6/10
Satan in a riding outfit
5 August 2011
This film was quite enjoyable really. It starts out a bit slow...and never really gets to full speed...but in the end it's got a pretty decent storyline going. A carny/burlesque girl rips off her carny/sleaze ball husband and sets out to the big city to find wealthier men to take advantage of. She gets a job at Pepe's, an upscale burlesque/variety club and proceeds to mercilessly make her play for the rich older man. And his son. This movie is worth watching if only for the vibe that it gives off. The early sixties smokey club scene is beautifully portrayed. The costumes are over the top and lovely. The riding outfit that the main character wears is priceless, as is the plastic-ish, big collared pant suit she wears in a couple of scenes. Pepe's wardrobe is gorgeously early mod. The ending was a little anti-climactic for me. I was expecting a lot more....like an actual murder. Either of her or of the old man. The way they left it was a bit lame. But still a pretty darn good film and worthy of a viewing.
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Blood Oath (2007 Video)
1/10
My God this is bad
5 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Normally I'm all about cheesy B horror, but after watching this movie I may have to rethink that. The plot is just ridiculous. What's really sad is that it HAD potential. The story of the couple and the babies could have really been creepy. But it was ruined by the bad wardrobe and the crazy wig of the 'mysterious lady', not to mention the fact that there's no real reason given for her visit or just why the first blood sacrifice had to be made...let alone the other blood sacrifices. Add to that the utter stupidity of having the one girl suddenly and randomly divulge that she is in fact the daughter of one of the twins. And don't even get me started on how bad the actors are. There was WAY too much filler and WAY too many holes for my liking. Who was the mysterious lady? Why was Amanda killing all these people anyway? What exactly was she getting out of the blood sacrifices (and what did the parents get out of the initial one besides dead crops)? If her sister was adopted out after the crash, why wasn't Amanda and why and how did she go back to the house anyway? And WTF was up with the penis she has in the one scene toward the end????? I didn't get that AT ALL. Bottom line: I'll never get back that hour and a half of my life. Don't waste your time.
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8/10
Beautiful and Creepy
8 July 2011
What can I say? This is one of those perfect, horror films: No gore and no masked mass murderers...only faded memories of a past murder and a mysterious ghost who wants something. But who that ghost is and just what it wants is kept secret for a good part of the film. Mia Farrow is so good in this type of film. If you thought she was flawless in Rosemary's Baby, you ain't seen nothing yet! She plays a fragile and innocent Julia, who loses her daughter to a choking accident in the first few minutes of the film. We then learn that she and her husband are now separated, presumably because of the stress and tension caused by the loss of the little girl and Julia's short stay in a sanitarium following the tragedy. Julia takes a house in Holland Park and soon begins to sense that there is something in the house with her. Is it the ghost of her daughter or just her soon to be ex trying to push her over the edge so he can have her committed again? Is she really crazy? Or is it something more sinister?
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8/10
"There may be a lot of people like me, but there's nobody LIKE me."
8 July 2011
Time travelers traveling to 1776 get inadvertently dropped in 1976 instead. Hilarity, bell bottoms and leisure suits ensue. I haven't seen this film in years. It's one of those forgotten classics that, for some reason, never makes it onto television anymore. Yes, it's silly. Yes, it's cheesy. Yes, it's not Masterpiece Theatre. But if you want a film that is just plain fun then this is it. One of my favourite aspects of the film are all the cameos...and starring roles....that are filled by established actors, both from the time the film is set (David Cassidy, Leif Garrett, Rob Reiner, Tommy Chong) and also from the late '80s/early '90s when it was filmed (Chanel 9 is the sister from The Wonder Years). The most annoying thing about the movie are the two guys helping the visitors from the future. I don't know much about Redd Kross, their band, but their acting ability was a bit shoddy. But considering the intentional cheesy atmosphere of the film, maybe that was the point? There are a lot of jabs, loving of course, taken at '70s pop culture: Pintos blowing up, gas lines, The Hustle. What fun! The soundtrack is fantastic: The Carpenters, Grand Funk, Afternoon Delight. I wasn't around for the '70s, but this movie makes me wish I could have been...and kind of makes me feel like I was! 8/10
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6/10
Do the Jella the Jilla Jalla Jellafish.....
24 May 2011
This was a surprisingly entertaining camp flick. I adore the genre, but generally not because they keep me on the edge of my seat but because I fall off my seat laughing at them. This film made me do both! The story line wasn't too bad: People on a remote island are being murdered by a mysterious half man/half jellyfish creature and his glad bag minions. They're cut off from the outside world because, wouldn't ya know it, the radio is cut and the boats are almost out of gas! To be fair, toward the end, the film itself runs out of steam. It's a bit anti-climactic and I can't even begin to understand the man-to-jellyfish change scene. It's just plain odd! But odd in a good way. For it's budget, it's quite well done. The colour is fab and the locations are quite good. The girls' wardrobe is to die for if you're a '60s vintage-aholic like me. All in all a definite must see for horror, camp, and '60s aficionados. 6/10
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Candleshoe (1977)
10/10
The Best Live Action Disney Film EVER!
23 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I cannot possibly say enough about this film. The cast is legendary...Helen Hayes, David Niven, Jody Foster, and Leo McKern...the plot will have you on the edge of your seat, and the locations are beautiful. Jody Foster is superb as the tough as nails ("I ain't deprived, I'm delinquent. There's a difference, you know") Casey Brown who is swept away to England to play the part of the long lost granddaughter of Lady St Edmund of Candleshoe. Her partner in crime is Harry Bundage, who has long been searching for a girl he can use to infiltrate Candleshoe, the St Edmund family estate. The home was built by the notorious ancestor Joshua St Edmund, a pirate, who had allegedly hidden clues to a treasure that was hidden in the house. Mr Bundage's sister who was once employed at the home found the first clue in the man's long lost will, which she discovered hidden in a bedpost. "To the sunrise student, there is treasure among books". Once Casey is accepted into the family, she sets about searching for the subsequent clues to the treasure. Unfortunately she also begins to soften after learning the secrets of the 'family': The old lady is almost broke, but doesn't know. The butler Priory and the orphans who she has taken in are working very hard to make money to save the house and most importantly the old lady's feelings. All of the other 'staff' are actually Priory playing the different parts in order to save money and make the old girl think she has a full staff. He even plays the part of her best friend, the Colonel, who comes to tea. Casey finally realizes the meaning of family and also that the treasure she's been looking for could save the home of the people she's come to love. This leads to a fantastic train race with an edge of your seat climax and a great battle scene between the orphans/Priory and Harry/his thugs in order to get to the hidden treasure! This is a great family movie and my favourite of the Disney live action films. I used to watch it on the Disney Channel as a kid, back when the Disney Channel was great! Because of it, I even became a huge fan of Robert Gray, whose Elegy Written In a Country Churchyard is used as one of the clues in the film ("The paths of glory lead but to the grave.") So much of a fan that I begged my mother to buy me an old leather-bound Victorian copy at an auction, which I treasure and always reminds me of Candleshoe! Such a lovely and memorable film! I love it so! 10/10!!!!
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6/10
The Old, Dark, and Slightly Boring House...
23 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Being a huge fan of Castle and of Hammer films, I had high expectations for this one. On top of that, I'd seen the original Old Dark House which was quite spooky and entertaining. Unfortunately, this version was a little on the dull side for me. Don't get me wrong, I'd definitely recommend a viewing, although make certain that it's early in the day. I made the mistake of watching at my usual post-11pm horror film slot. I fell asleep (which I rarely do) and had to watch the end the next morning. The cast is quite good and the vibe is sufficiently moody. I loved the eccentric Femm clan. They're all a bunch of nut jobs and their antics are quite humorous in the beginning, but it becomes dull and predictable about halfway through the film. It's also very obvious near the start that the killer is the sweetest, most innocent member of the family. Add to that the fact that, for a campy comedy, there is not much camp or solid comedy and you have a film that has great potential, but doesn't quite live up to it. All in all, I'd give this a 6/10.
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The Bad Seed (1956)
9/10
"Bring them back here, Leroy...RIGHT HERE TO ME!!!!
10 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Not enough people, especially my 80s/90s generation, know about this film. This was evidenced to me when I was 'Rhoda' for a Halloween party a couple of years ago...pigtails, frilly gingham dress, blood soaked mary janes, Fern School penmanship medal and all. No one knew who I was, even when I told them. Hopefully I convinced at least a few of them to see this horror masterpiece! Nothing's creepier than an 8 year old blonde, blue eyed, sickeningly sweet serial killer. Rhoda Penmark is like the 'little girl who had a little curl right in the middle of her forehead'. When she's good, she's very very good and when she's bad, she's horrid. In the beginning you are more annoyed by her sweetness than endeared by it and that's good because it helps you transition to seeing her as the bad guy later on. The same is true of Leroy, played by the talented Henry Jones. Right at the start, you don't like him much. He seems like a pervy degenerate who gets his kicks picking on a 3rd grader. So when Rhoda sets him on fire and plays the piano while he's screaming and burning to death in the backyard, well, let's just say I wasn't as upset as I might have been otherwise....and that in itself is disturbing! Patty McCormick as Rhoda gives an amazing performance, especially considering she was only ten or eleven when she made this film. The quick transitions from sweet to psychotic are as good as any veteran actor. She's just spooky! Nancy Kelly as Rhoda's mother, Christine, is amazing. She's almost regally lovely, calm, and is just as cool and calculating as her daughter, only not in the same way. Instead, Christine's energy is spent subtly manipulating information out of her father and others and trying to protect her little girl from what she feels is at least partially her fault because of her genetics. All the while, she's having to deal all of Rhoda's 'problems' alone, being a military spouse who's husband has been called to Washington right before the you-know-what hits the fan. Her act of desperation toward the end of the film is totally understandable and ultimately forgivable. Talk about a lot on your plate! Monica Breedlove, the landlady played by Evelyn Vardon is a treasure. The ultimate busy body who, though she has the best of intentions, is always sticking her nose in where it doesn't belong! In the end, she winds up being the luckiest person in the film! My favourite character is, without a doubt, Mrs. Daigle. Eileen Heckart is one of the gems of this era. Great character actress. And this film is no exception. The pitifully sad, yet amusingly drunken mother of Rhoda's first victim (the first one that takes place in the course of the film anyway), little Claude Daigle. Her performance is one of the best I've ever witnessed. She has you almost falling on the floor laughing at her spot on 'drunk' (I've always thought that Carol Burnett must have stolen her 'drunk' as well as some of her 'Eunice' from Hortense Daigle). But then she'll deliver a line in which you can just feel the grief at the loss of her only child and you well up with tears. Outstanding. Period. This is a fantastic film that everyone should see. It's a mystery/horror/thriller that is really top notch from concept to plot to acting and direction.
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6/10
Awful.....but in a GOOD way!
8 May 2011
The worst movie I've seen in a while...and the most entertaining!! While there is nothing really great about this film from the acting to the plot, it's insanely amusing! This is another film that falls into the 'It's so bad that it's good' category. You think the theme song is bad? Wait till you get a load of those 'Maneater' vests! They look like a gang of 9 year olds made them! The plot is almost too simple to even be called a plot. The sex and violence are so fake that it's embarrassing. As usual in these kind of youth-sploitation films, the bad ass teens are totally laughable. With all that said...I still found this movie extremely amusing to watch and I actually enjoyed every minute of it!! It's one of those movies that I'm sure I'll enjoy more each time I see it! So bottom line, when I say it's the worst I've seen in ages, what I really mean is that I loved it! Now go out and watch it!!!
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10/10
Officially My Favourite Film Of All Time
8 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
While recently watching TCM giving it's 'behind the scenes' people the opportunity to share their favourite film with viewers, the thought occurred to me, "What movie would I choose as my 'essential'?" The answer came to me in an instant: Let's Scare Jessica To Death. The film's initial release predates me...heck, it even predates my parents first meeting by a couple of years!...but nevertheless I discovered it as a young teenager in the '90s and I've been hooked on LSJTD ever since. It's always reminded me of a book I'd read as a kid called Wait Till Helen Comes, which I highly recommend to anyone who loves this movie. The subtle sunshine-through-misty-fog mood that permeates the film is fantastic and parallels Jessica's own psyche. She's spent several months in a mental hospital and though she's damaged, she's determined to get on with her life and her marriage. To help her, her husband and his best friend decide that the three of them should leave the maddening (literally, in Jessica's case) crowd in New York and move to the country. She's obviously happy about this new life, but nervous that she might not truly be better. We know this because we are privy to the mumbled conversations that are going on in her head while she's trying her best to act 'normal', which leads me to another reason this movie is so darn scary. The movie is told from Jess's point of view...and Jessica's not quite right in the head. Because of this, we never know what's real. Does Emily really look like the lost Bishop daughter, or is Jess the only one who sees it that way? Is Emily really trying to steal Jess' husband or is it just Jessica's suspicions that we're seeing? Is there a malevolent force at work in the men of the town, or is Jessica just paranoid? Did she really see the murdered body of the antique dealer, or is it all in her mind? All of this makes US as confused as Jessica...and confusion is scary as hell. Some people have said that even though they like the film, they find the ending a bit of a let down. I disagree. The ending fits. The image of Jessica in the boat, floating and the townspeople on the shore watching her still leaves us wondering what is really happening. Is Jess escaping a bunch of vampires or are the people on the shore simply watching an unstable woman who they tried to help drift away in a stolen boat? The uncertainty of the whole film carries out to the end in the final disturbing, but peaceful scene. It's really beautiful. Granted, if you're the typical horror fan of my generation who's been raised on Freddy, Michael Myers, and Saw, you may not get into this movie. There is no gratuitous gore or blood, no one hacking people to pieces, no half naked fornicating teenagers to be slaughtered. There is only creepy, scary chills. REALLY CREEPY, SCARY CHILLS. I'm a huge fan of eerie, psychological horror and Gothic is my favourite sub-genre. Add to that, a good ghost story and I'm a happy camper. If those things appeal to you too, this film has it all!
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Girl Gang (1954)
6/10
Cheesier than a extra cheese pizza...and infinitely more satisfying!
8 May 2011
Girl Gang is so bad it's good. The acting is sub-par, yes. The direction isn't great. But the plot is actually pretty well thought out: Drug dealer uses a couple of his regulars to recruit young 'greenhorns' to his 'candy'. Once they get hooked on weed, he moves them on to heroin and all of them eventually find that the heroin habit is more expensive, therefore they 'owe' the dealer more and more money. He then basically forces the girls into prostitution and 'rape' allegation shakedowns to get the money to pay him back. Time goes on and they get deeper in debt to him and get into worse and worse criminal activity to support their habit. This is certainly not a family night movie, what with all the sex and prostitution and blackmail. There is even a point where it shows step by step how to freebase heroin...you learn something new every day! If you have no sense of humour, or the slightest understanding of the time period in which this film was made, I don't suggest you waste your time. On the other hand, if you love 'Teenagers Going to Hell' delinquency films of the fifties and sixties as much as I do, you'll love this monstrosity! It's a campy cheese-fest worthy of Mystery Science Theater 3000 that actually holds up decently on it's own!
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