Tuesday Terror: The Curse Of The Living Corpse (1964)

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The patriarch of a family dies and it’s time for the reading of the will. There group assembled consists of a gambler, a drunkard, unhappy wives and mothers, mistreated domestic workers, a nice kid, a love interest and a lawyer. The dead man had made most of their lives miserable and he’s not through yet!The long suffering relatives can only inherit if they abide by certain conditions.

Here’s the trick – between the funeral, the burial and assembling for the reading, all of the potential heirs have broken the rules. Bummer right? It gets even worse. According to the will, those who don’t fulfill their duties will die facing their worst fears.

As people start dying, one has to wonder if the cloaked figure menacing about is the spirit of the dead man or a human avenger? Perhaps both things can be true at the same time?

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It’s a familiar plot boosted by great acting and writing. The family is full of tension, resentment and hatred. The father may have been horrible but the children he raised aren’t much better. Take out the “has dad returned from the dead” element and this could be a great dramatic soap opera.

There are some hokey bits. A couple of the killer stalking its prey scenes are a little long. Image playing ring around the coffin in triple slow motion. Fortunately, that’s a very small part of the film.

There’s a bit of comic relief and the movie kept me guessing.

Tip: Waiting around for the old, evil rich guy to die is a waste of time.

Tuesday Terror: Something Creeping In The Dark (1971)

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It was a dark and stormy night. Flooding has washed out local bridges and a group of unfortunate strangers find themselves at door of a mansion. The only house in the area, it was once owned Lady Sheila whose “passionate nature dominated both men and women.”

In this mix of strangers, we have a doctor, a rich but still unhappily married couple, two police, a homicidal maniac, and other assorted, quirky folks. Bored rich people are the worst. First, the unhappy wife suggests they all get acquainted via an orgy. The ratio of men to women would have made that very interesting… That idea gets squashed and she later suggests a seance. I’m sure it’s a coincidence that the sounds made during the seance are somewhat orgasmic.

The creepy, spooky atmosphere is amplified. What’s come over everyone? Is the Lady Sheila or another entity possessing people? Or perhaps in certain situations, it’s easier to shed inhibitions. Is something creeping in the shadows or on the outskirts of the human psyche?

If there is a weakness – it’s the two policemen. The homicidal maniac gets away from them a couple of times before it dawns on them to tie him up. Of course, they don’t have handcuffs. They certainly aren’t helpful when people die…

Otherwise, it’s a very stylish film. The music, the visuals – it keeps you engaged from the opening credits. With every weird incident, every murder or shriek, the anticipation builds. The final reveal was a teeny bit of a let down but, overall, I had fun.

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