I was joined on this viewing by my wife. She’s not a B-movie fan and is best described as a very casual fan of MST3K. But she did sit through Kazaam, so she’s got that going for her.
“Marion cries in the Night”
The biggest problem with this movie is the start. Instead of being happy with it’s little Gaslight/Rebecca rip off, AIP (love your beach movies) had to tack on that stupid offer of a free burial if you are scared to death. As my wife said, her mind was pre-blown. There was no way it could live up to a promise of that scale.
But aside from the unfortunate expectations the intro set, ask yourself what was actor/director Alex (Mickey) Nicol thinking. Eric (John Hudson) is, at least until the portrait bonfire, supposed to be our hero. Supposed to be the guy we are cheering for. Isn’t he a great guy, helping the nice crazy rich girl and being buddy buddy with a Reverend. (Not to go too off topic, but if you don’t go to church-as it is implied Eric doesn’t-how do you meet and befriend a Reverend?) My wife found him loathsome from the git go. No way she was rooting for that bastard.
I’ll put forth that Mickey is one of the better lackeys in MST3K annals. More competent than Torgo, better looking that Ortega and nowhere near as sweaty as Lobo.
I did like the reverse House on Haunted Hill ending to this movie. Of course, it just brought attention to all the missed opportunities in the movie.
This was clearly a shoestring movie–six weeks, five actors, 2 rooms and 1 garden. There was just nothing special about this movie. I don’t know if was they had the wrong actors, or the wrong rooms, but there is just too much wrong with this one. Not the laugh out loud failure we’ll see in the future, but a slow, quiet well intentioned failure of a movie.
Watchability: 1 of 5. It just doesn’t work. Good ideas, but they just didn’t get their own movie. Decently acted, just woefully scripted and directed. On premise and plot outline, should have actually been one of the better films.
Missing the Riffs: 2 of 5. Very shocked I missed Mike and the Bots this much. They actually do make the movie much better than it is. Probably could make this a 1, but it was really easy to find my own riffs for this viewing.