75 min., 1963
Written by Francis Coppola/Jack Hill
Directed by Francis Coppola
My rating: ★★
Leaves a hell of a lot to be desired
* * *
The movie begins with John and Louise Haloran (Peter Read and Luana Anders) in a rowboat. They really seem to dislike each other, but then John has a heart attack and dies. Louise decides to push him overboard, because when he dies, she gets nothing from his mother’s will. So she decides to fake that he has gone away on business so that she can butter up Lady Haloran (Eithne Dunne). While at the table with the rest of the family, we meet the rest of the Halorans. We have Richard (William Campbell) and his fiancée Kane (Mary Mitchel) and brother Billy (Bart Patton). Now Richard definitely doesn’t like Louise and really lets her know, but Billy seems okay with her. The story of their dead sister and the way that their mother reacts every year shows a bit of craziness, which Louise decides to help push along.
Pretty much everything about this movie is by the numbers. The different types of characters are all there, the dark son, the know-it-all doctor, the losing-her-mind mother, the shy-and-looking-for-love female, and the money-hungry bitch. Yep, they are all along for the ride. There’s not much that really stands out with this one, except the lopped off head rolling down the hill, that was pretty cool.
The acting is all the standard type of the day. Overacting during every scene runs rampant throughout, with everyone just taking his or her roles way too seriously. You can take a role seriously, but sometimes when you go above and beyond, you just turn in a bad performance. Most don’t, thank goodness, but the ones that do helps to bring this back to the bad side of movies, watching them makes me just want to laugh most of the time. They need to relax and enjoy their part, not crush it with a bear hug.
One scene that was actually a complete let down was the axe scene. It could have been so much better, but it was trying way too hard to copy the shower scene from Psycho that it just fails. You really can’t get a fix on what’s happening throughout the scene, is the axe hitting, or is it missing. There’s blood, but only on their hands. It left me questioning what exactly happened.
Does this movie stand the test of time? Not really. It’s fun at times, but other times it feels like a dozen mosquitoes buzzing around and biting you, nothing too painful, just annoying.
By the way, if you can’t figure out who the killer is after the first flash back, they you are just really stupid.
The fucking tombstone, as it has no real relevance.Have You Read...?