Friday, October 17, 2014

Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? (1972)

Director: Curtis Harrington

Writers: David D. Osborn, Robert Blees, Jimmy Sangster, Gavin Lambert

Composer: Kenneth V. Jones

Starring: Shelley Winters, Mark Lester, Chloe Franks, Ralph Richardson, Lionel Jeffries, Hugh Griffith, Rosalie Crutchley, Pat Heywood, Judy Cornwell, Michael Gothard, Jacqueline Cowper, Richard Beaumont, Charlotte Sayse, Marianne Stone

More info: IMDb

Tagline: She's Taking A STAB At Motherhood!

Plot: A demented widow lures unsuspecting children into her mansion in a bizarre "Hansel and Gretel" twist.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? No.

It's a neat little take on Hansel & Gretal but it's really hard to take a short story and turn it into a feature length movie as this one proves.  The last few minutes are pretty cool but it's the 80 that preceded it that has problems. The setup is good even though it takes an hour (love the guillotine, by the way - VERY effective scene) before it you start to see Mrs. Forrest (Winters) unravelling and kind of begin to lose her shit and start to resemble the witch in the fairy tale even if she's far tamer than the Grimm character.  The performances are good but it's the script that's been forced to stretch a penny into a quarter that's the real culprit.  Fans of FOR YOUR EYES ONLY (1981) will get a treat out of seeing a much younger  Michael Gothard (the octagonal glasses guy from FYEO).  And OMFG I did not recognize Judy Cornwell in this at all.  She's best known to me for playing Daisy in KEEPING UP APPEARANCES (1990-95).  I should have recognized her voice.  Sorry, Daisy.

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