Archive for July 24th, 2006

Jul 24 2006

Terror in the Haunted House (1958)

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This weekend’s feature was the first movie filmed in Psycho-Rama (and probably the last, too)! There are supposed to be subliminal messages flashed throughout the movie, but as far as I could tell, Psycho-Rama consisted of flashing skulls and devil heads during the dream sequence at the beginning. Very distracting, and nowhere near as enjoyable as Brad Pitt’s splicing job in Fight Club. Psycho-Rama will only make you scream out of sheer annoyance.

Essentially, the movie is a low-rent Rebecca, Alfred Hitchcock’s 1940 masterpiece:

Terror: Filmed in Psycho-Rama!
Rebecca: Famous opening shot where the camera seems to melt through the mansion’s gates.

Terror/Rebecca: Young girl marries mysterious man abroad after whirlwind courtship and returns with him to creepy mansion. The Terror Mansion is the “mad Tierney place” – no relation to ravishing Gene or rambunctious Lawrence. Unfortunately.

Terror: Creepy caretaker with giant unblinking eyes who knows the family secrets and dies an unpleasant death.
Rebecca: Creepy housekeeper who knows the family secrets and dies an unpleasant death.

Terror/Rebecca: New husbands both seem to be unfeeling jerks and have dark pasts.

Terror: Cast of B actors. Cathy O’Donnell, who spends most of the movie screaming, was in Ben-Hur after this movie and that was the end of her movie career. I would have thought it would be the other way around.

Rebecca: Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine.

In the end, both couples flee their respective creepy mansions and, we assume, live happily or neurotically ever after.

What to serve with the movie: a Green Ghost, of course. Gotta use up that blue cura?ao left over from last week!

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