Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Murders in the Rue Morgue (1971)

Director: Gordon Hessler

Starring: Jason Robards, Herbert Lom, Christine Kaufmann, Adolfo Celi, Maria Perschy, Michael Dunn, Lilli Palmer

More info: IMDb

Tagline: LOVE and MURDER are the two consuming passions of the Rue Morgue!

Plot: In the midst of preparing his theater troupe for their upcoming production, Cesar (Robards) struggles to soothe his wife, Madeleine (Kaufmann), who's been suffering dreadful nightmares, and races to figure out who is brutally murdering his lead actors one by one. A loose adaptation of an Edgar Allan Poe story, this chilling horror tale effectively weaves back and forth between disturbing dreams and reality.

My rating: 4.5/10

Will I watch it again? No.

#36 on 42nd Street Forever Vol. 2: The Deuce (part of the TRAILER TRASH PROJECT)

I looked at the time remaining because it felt like the picture was about to wrap up and it turns out I was only one hour into it and another 38 minutes to go! Fortunately the last 20 minutes moved much faster than the rest of the film but it didn't matter, I was ready to go and looking forward to move onto something else, anything else. It's not that RUE MORGUE is too long and poorly paced in spots. No, it's that the lead, Robards, was miscast AND he was phoning in his performance. Lom delivers probably the best performance in the picture but that's not saying much and Celi, as the inspector leading the case, has the thankless job of acting a part that could be done by anyone.

Will someone PLEASE get me out of this picture?

This movie is uninspiring in most ways except the art direction and cinematography. This looks like the most lavish production AIP ever made. It looks fantastic but it's too bad it's dampened by forgettable performances. The only other thing I dug was a certain someone's death by decapitation. THAT was nicely handled. If the performances had any life to them and the pacing tightened up then this could easily be a 6 or 7 out of 10. The MGM Midnite Movies Double Feature DVD I have also has the Vincent Price flick, Cry of the Banshee, and if memory serves me this is another dull flick. Two snoozers for one low, low price.

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