Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Halloween Horror Challenge Movie #4 - HAUNTED (1977)

HAUNTED (1977)
D. Michael G. Degeatano

This older drive-in style potboiler is one of the releases from Code Red that features ex-wrestler Maria as a host. Seems that most of the movies she hosts are really bad. Some so bad they are great like NIGHT OF THE DEMON or MARDI GRAS MASSACRE, but others like this one leave you wondering why they bothered to put it out at all. Even she comments after the movie on how futile and pointless it all was.

The story begins promisingly enough with a very well acted prologue. An Indian maiden is stripped bare and set off on her horse to die. Turns out the soldiers and townsfolk all conspired to kill her and lied about the charges she was sentenced over. Cut to modern day and the town has become a dilapidated tourist trap. Resided over by an old man (Aldo Ray) his psychotic wife (Virginia Mayo) and his two sons. Seems the lady of the house never got over an affair she had with old Aldo's brother when they were all much younger and has driven herself insane with the good memories of loving this man. This man she can never have because he up and vanished one day. The kids hate their father and disrespect him at every turn. Into this mess comes a young woman (Ann Michelle) who sets the delicate balance of the house askew. The eldest son decides to put mom into a nursing home and sell the land. Meanwhile mysteriously a phone booth has been installed in the cemetery next door. A phone-line to talk to the dead.

The problem with HAUNTED is that it is slow. People talk a lot, and the town has a weird atmosphere to it. But as for action, there literally is none. Nothing scary happens until well past the one hour mark and then it is so little that you are shocked when the movie is over.

Review © Andrew Copp

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