Sunday, May 15, 2011

The House that Cried Murder (1973)

This 1970s obscurity somehow weaseled its way to the top of my Netflix queue and let me tell you, this House is one fixer-upper!

Wealthy daddy’s girl Barbara builds an ugly, modern monstrosity just cuz she is bored and wants to truly do something with her life. She plans on moving into the house with her boyfriend, the slimy David, who works at the same firm her father owns. Despite warnings from her father that David “stinks”, Barbara gets her way and ties the knot with David. Daddy’s little girl should have listened to her father, because David really does stink! The adulterous asshole sneaks off during their wedding reception with his ex-girlfriend. Sure enough, Barbara finds him pants down in the bedroom! Barbara takes a pair of scissors to David’s arm before storming off through the wedding guests with a bloodied wedding gown and burning rubber out of there. She disappears, and neither David nor her father hears from her for days or weeks. Despite the tumultuous events of the wedding day, Barbara’s father is overly chummy with David and tells him from now on will be treating David like a son. Meanwhile, David and his ex have re-connected after their lousy rendezvous and are apparently living together. Their bliss is short-lived when they are terrorized in their own home by ominous phone messages, severed chicken heads and expensive bridal gowns.

The House that Cried Murder is one stinker of a movie. First off, the transfer is so bad that the film is littered with scratch marks, weird jump cuts and switches between being too dark or too washed out. Now, I’ve seen plenty of old films in all different states, but this is one of the worst-looking ones I’ve ever seen. Furthermore, the actually lighting in the film is nonexistent, leaving actor’s faces perpetually drenched in shadows while the rest of the surroundings are washed out. I could have overlooked all this had the film actually been decent, but it just drags on and on with no real tension or scares to speak of. Barbara may be crazy, but at least she isn’t the annoying little twat that David’s ex is…good God, I just wanted her to meet a terrible demise but I was denied even that as she is scared off by the chicken head, phone calls and other shenanigans that start to plague her and David.

The film is packed full of more filler than your average hot dog, with pointless scenes of David and his ex strolling a street fair, Barbara and David walking through a field, and so on. This film really needed to get to the action already. Only, I guess there really wasn’t too much action to really get to, now was there? The climax and ending of the film feature a neat little twist, but getting there was absolute torture and the ending doesn’t make up for the boredom I suffered sitting through this dilapidated House. I just wanted this wretchedly boring movie to end…maybe they should call this The House that Cried Uncle instead.

If you are an absolute fiend for bad ‘70s movies (with bad music to match, natch) and this is one you haven’t seen before…well, I would say to skip it anyways. However, if you are a masochist, by all means check this film out; but in my opinion this House should be condemned!

Order it on Amazon!

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