Sunday, October 30, 2011

Burnt Offerings (1976)

Director: Dan Curtis

Starring: Karen Black, Oliver Reed, Burgess Meredith, Eileen Heckart, Lee Montgomery, Dub Taylor, Bette Davis, Anthony James

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Up the ancient stairs, behind the locked door, something lives, something evil, from which no one has ever returned.

Plot: The vacationing Marian (Black), David (Montgomery), Ben (Reed) and Elizabeth (Davis) rent a Victorian mansion in California for the summer and soon discover that all is not as it should be. For starters, dead plants come back to life and the pool appears to be a sort of trap. Behind all the strangeness are the Allardyce siblings, Arnold (Meredith) and Roz (Heckart).

My rating: 5.5/10

Will I watch it again? No.

#173 on Drive-In Delirium Volume 2 (part of the TRAILER TRASH PROJECT)

It's surprising that considering the talent involved, this isn't better. The performances are fine, music, cinematography, etc but the film falls flat for some reason. I'm sure the two hour running time has something to do with it, especially since it's really, really slow and there's nothing much more than suggestions that the house (or something) is driving these people insane. It's rather static. I REALLY liked the bleak-ass ending. THAT was neat and it would have been better suited if there had been a stronger near-two hour build up. I wanted to like this one. I'm a huge fan of many of the cast members. Dub Taylor is doing his fantastic Dub Taylor thing and Burgess Meredith is a gas to watch as usual (I really dig that guy) but they're barely in the movie and only at the beginning. Either one of those guys spread out over the entire picture would juice this up to a 7/10 without question. Hell, toss in Slim Pickens and you've got yourself a classic.

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