Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Frightmare


This little gem of a movie is actually quite thought provoking for a cheap piece of crap made circa 1974. It starts out in London, 1957, a man is found with half his head missing. Edmund and his wife Dorothy are arrested, convicted and sentenced to 25 years in a mental hospital for the crime. Edmund and Dorothy have two daughters, Jackie and Debbie. Jackie is the older sister and remembers her parents and what they did. Debbie on the other hand was too young to remember them and grew up with foster parents. Jackie and Debbie now live together as adults, yet have quite a tumultuous relationship. It's been 25 years and Edmund and Dorothy are released. Debbie is not yet aware of her parent's true history, but Jackie visits them at night, bringing them supplies and suspicious bloody packages. Edmund seems rather normal, but Dorothy still obviously has some issues. Dorothy gives Tarot readings on the side, even though Edmund highly disapproves of it. I dunno, maybe it's because Dorothy has a nasty habit of sometimes killing her clients with a power drill. If someone doesn't quite like what Dorothy's Tarot cards say, Dorothy shuts 'em up with a hot fireplace poker to the gut... sssssssss. By now they have a few corpses piling up, and coincidentally they happen to be a little hungry. What better way to cover a crime and have a feast to celebrate the fact... eat the evidence. Through cannibalism they devour all the people Dorothy has flipped out on and killed. Edmund confesses that Dorothy was the killer 25 years ago (duh) and that he pleaded insanity just so that they could stay together (now that's love). Debbie eventually learns of her parents and confronts them. Debbie has her boyfriend with her, which Dorothy soon kills while Debbie watches. They hide the body in the hay baler with... the others. Obviously, Debbie gets her bitchy, homicidal attitude from her mother. They kill together and bond as mother and daughter (can you feel the love?). Jackie eventually notices that her mother is killing again and realizes that her suspicious bloody packages are not working. You see, Jackie has been pretending to be killing people in order to satisfy her mother's craving for murder. The mysterious bloody packages are supposed to be guts from the murder victim, proving that a murder did actually take place... and to give mom a little something to snack on. But the guts are actually butcher's leftovers that she has been getting from the local supermarket (what a weirdo they must think she is). Jackie's bizarre form of therapy has obviously been a total failure, therefore she contacts a real doctor to come and evaluate Dorothy. He disguises himself as a person wanting a Tarot card reading. Dorothy can see through the cards that he is not who he seems to be and realizes that he's a doctor that's come to take her back to the mental hospital. She kills him of course. It's funny, rather than be shocked that her mom just killed someone, she's more upset with the fact that Dorothy has bonded with Debbie. Edmund confesses that he's tired of covering up Dorothy's crimes. The job is then turned over to Debbie, who is more than willing to take over in her dad's place. With Edmund out of the way, Dorothy decides that she prefers Debbie as her daughter much more than Jackie. The corner Jackie and kill her. The end. Not terribly original, I must admit. But this film has an air of comedy to it that is just barely out of reach. There are many situations in this movie where you're really not sure whether to laugh or gasp. I'm not even sure if the film makers intended there to be comedy involved. Nonetheless, it's a good effort and well worth 90 minutes of your life.

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