I was in a British 70s horror mode a few days back, so I tossed on THE WICKER MAN (THE ORIGINAL, not the Cage-ified version) - a feature I had not seen all the way through in one sitting for one reason or another. Well, it turns out after viewing it that I had never even seen it! I was so happy, even though I knew what the end twist was. It was fun to watch it play out.
After basking in it's glory for a few moments, I wanted to see some more British horror, so I ran through some of the NETFLIX offerings to find more 70s UK horror goodness....and found CRUCIBLE OF HORROR instead. hehehehe
Now...mind you...I didn't hate the film. Not at all. It stuck with me on many levels. However, there were moments where I thought I passed out and missed something. Whole chunks of plot and story line just...disappear in this film right from the opening.
Michael Gough plays a sadistic Father who rules his home with an iron fist and schoolmaster cane. His wife is a wreck - doped and sealed up in her room painting during the days. The son works with the father in finance and is a proper Brit ponce. And the daughter played by Sharon Gurney is supposed to be 16, but looks like she's 26. :)
The son kisses up to the father properly and is a little lapdog, so the father leaves him alone. The daughter, however, is abused daily - possibly even sexually by the horrid father, as the mother sits weakly by doing nothing. The daughter is beaten, her mail is gone through and she's kept from doing much of anything. Finally, the mother and daughter decide that it's time to do something about the situation. They need to kill the father.
They hatch a plan and set off to do the deed when he's off at a hunting weekend, but something goes...very wrong...with their plan.
WHOLE POINTS, SCENES, AND CHARACTERS DISAPPEAR IN THIS FILM!!!!! hehehehe It's wild. The very beginning of the film shows the dad being a menace, so we know he's evil from the get-go. However, there's a scene in the very beginning of the film where the daughter returns from a trip via bicycle, heads upstairs and pours a smoking liquid into a perfume bottle - the image used on the poster. However, I don't recall ever SEEING THE DAMN THING EVER AGAIN! heheheh No mention of it. It's just...gone.
People have whole exchanges with the family in one way or another, then...poof...they are just gone, seemingly outliving their welcome and just...not being brought up again.
Then towards the end, you know something is going on, but think that maybe there will be a HUGE twist reveal of some sort.
The brother knew about the women's plot against the father and uses it against them somehow? Nope.
The father knew, got the son involved, then the two of them were pitted against the two women? Nope.
They were spotted by the neighbor who has the hots for the "16 year old" daughter and HE was messing with them? Nope.
MAGIC? The Father was so evil that he came back to life? I don't have ANY idea....maybe?
The father just comes back to life, scares the crap out of the mother and daughter, then everything goes back to the usual day to day abuses and boring breakfast banter. The daughter stares on as if drugged - not believing what's going on, I guess. The father opens another love letter, tears it up and says, "Well, I don't think you'll be going out to meet any boys today, will you?" or something to that effect.
A one liner is tossed at the mother by the father ("What are you going to do today? More of your PAINTINGS?") then the camera pans over to the mother and it looks like she's aged 15 years. Maybe 25. She's old, grey and wrinkled. Then, she slowly fades away. Yeah....fades away and disappears.
WHAT?!?!?!? WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED HERE?!?!?!???!?!
This film has all the makings of a classic, HAMMER HORROR style mystery, but runs so far off the rails it's crazy making. Things happen in here that had me re-watching whole scenes because I just didn't get it.
I had to do some digging to see if I missed something or if it was just really a cluster-F of a film and it turns out...it's just a cluster-F. It's script is at fault - the acting and the way it's shot is really spot on for what the film is and is a lot of fun to watch. But it just goes south at one point and spirals into this WONKY ZONE of "what the fuck?"
I'd love to get the inside scoop on this film. How did this happen? I mean, someone watched this after it was done and said, "Yup, that's about right. Let's release it." It's mind boggling.
Take a look for yourself. It's a must see for the strangeness of the script alone. The score is grand as well. So mysterious and swirly - just like the film itself, I guess. COMMENT!