The film anthology I bought is finally paying off. I guess the third time is the charm.
The movie I humbly offer to you today is The Blanchville Monster, (1964) otherwise known as…
That card pretty much assaults you the moment you turn on the movie. And that’s when I knew that although I didn’t love this movie I sure could have some fun with it.
Yes, it turned out to be an Italian Corman-lite film. As much as I’ve suffered through his movies on MST3K, I do love me his Poe movies. I love them good.
The movie’s set in 1884 in Northern France. Emily De Blancheville is returning home from either finishing school or college–the synopsis says finishing school but the characters say college. She’s travelling with her BFF Alice Taylor and her Hot Brother John Taylor. From America. Oooooh!
They arrive home and find her creepy brother, Roderigue has dismissed all the servants and replaced them with new, improved creepier servants. Also, their dad isn’t really dead, he’s just horribly mutilated and criminally insane. This is when we meet my favorite character, Miss Eleanor the housekeeper. She has cool, very shiny hair, always looks like she’s up to no good, dresses like a less cleavag-y Morticia, and keeps exchanging meaningful glances with Dr. Lerouge.
The movie is good at setting up an atmosphere of unease. You know that something is wrong but you’re not really sure what. And, for a change from Bell From Hell, I could see and hear the action. That’s usually a good thing.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on your point of view, the movie descends into moments of goofiness. Roderigue is prone to playing the organ while grimacing like some Vincent Price act-alike. He does this while sporting a styling pimp ring.
They keep repeating him playing the organ and then they show these hands, that are clearly not the actor’s. He needs to join Lucius Malfoy’s Pimpin’ Jewels of the Month Club.
Also, there’s the moment when Alice accidentally discovers that Dad De Blancheville is still alive. He’s not so much mutilated as he is batter dipped and channeling Emperor Palpatine. Yeah, that’s a Star Wars reference. Enjoy the goodness.
Emily becomes hypnotized by her father and starts wandering around in a nightie and imitating Buffy in the season one finale when she’s in her white prom dress.
I don’t want to kill Angel!
This is when Rodregue reveals the De Blanchville curse which is very vague. Something about how Emily has to die on her 21st birthday. Wait, Emily’s 21st is days away! She was just stopping at home to do her laundry before hitting Senor Frog’s to do body shots and get her hair braided. She’d return home with the obligatory white girl corn-row scalp sunburn.
Things become even more suspicious when the body of Alastair, the creepy new butler is revealed. Not only is he dead but he was a dummy. Eeek!
The movie finally winds up with an ending worthy of Scooby Doo, but it does include a genuinely creepy premature interment. Regardless, I still liked this movie a lot. I can’t say that I was ever really scared but it was suspenseful and fun to watch. The actors were actually pretty good although, as usual, I wish that it were subtitled rather than dubbed. In a final moment of lulz, the movie was made by Llama Films. Yes, Llama Films. If that’s not worthy of admiration, then I don’t know what is.
- Scarina--the authoress and editrix of this site. I like scary movies and have dedicated my free time to cataloging horror--the good, the bad, and the ugly. Sometimes there are books too.
There's film criticism, literary criticism, and humor here. I can be highbrow but there's lots of pop culture too. And feminism.
I fervently love "Twin Peaks" and wish it were a real place so I could move there. I can't list my favorite scary movies because they change depending on my mood, the season, and how much coffee I've had.
I'm an artist looking for ways to blend creepy with cute. I try to channel my childhood nightmares, my love of horror, and my experiences with sleepy paralysis.
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