The unthinkable has happened again. I watched a movie from my 50 Chilling Classics box-set and actually, kind of enjoyed it. The last movie that I liked from Mills Creek was The Ghost. Two in a row, what the hell? I feel like something very bad could happen. I’m not saying that the movie was perfect. Honestly, a good twenty minutes of it (at least) could have been left on the cutting-room floor. Plus, it’s haunted by the goofy flute music that apparently permeated the seventies. At least it isn’t being played by some guy with a flute up his nose. Cold comfort, indeed.
The movie is 1977’s Haunts. First, check out this poster. It doesn’t really have anything to do with the movie. The actual movie is way less Satan-infused than the poster suggests. I just think it’s a cool looking poster from Way Back When, before giant photoshopped heads dominated horror-movie posters.
May Britt stars as Ingrid, a woman so religious and repressed that she makes Angela from The Office look like Snooki.
She’s a woman haunted by something vague in her past. This is one of the points where the movie becomes annoying. There are constantly occurring flashbacks that establish something very vague that haunts Ingrid to this very day. I think that she witnessed her parents having sex, then her mother killed herself, and then her father died. I don’t know how these events are linked. All I know is that Ingrid drives her car and is then hit by a flashback.
Cameron Mitchell plays Ingrid’s Uncle Carl. He’s suspicious and slovenly and one of about eight red-herrings planted throughout the movie.
You probably remember him from The Demon, the movie that features Boob’s Disco. In my mind he’ll always be Commander Santa Clause from Space Mutiny.
Uncle Carl is visiting when a psycho starts slashing women in the town with a pair of scissors. Scissors, that it turns out, were lifted from Ingrid’s sewing basket. So who is the killer? Ingrid suspects Uncle Carl but there’s also local bad boy Frankie. Or is it the new man in town, Bill (Robert Hippard)?
As I said, this movie is way too long. The first thirty minutes were so painful that I actually turned it off as I felt myself falling asleep. I was very reluctant to restart the movie but the payoff was worth it. There are loads of goofy moments. Some involve a bartender who dresses like Colonel Sanders and a drunk middle-aged woman picking up men at a bar. That’s where the title of this post comes from, when she tells Bill that all you have to do to dance is wiggle. Mostly, there are lots of boring moments. We see Ingrid milk goats a lot and purse her lips judgementally.
The movie picks up after Ingrid is chased home from church but the local police do nothing to help her. The cops, by the way, make the ones from The Last House on the Left look effective. It seems that the killer has Ingrid in his targets. There are some actual scary moments. I particularly liked when she found the body of the middle-aged drunk lady in her chicken yard–is that the right term? It’s not the part where the chickens sleep in, it’s the yard they do chicken stuff in. There’s also a rape scene that is actually quite brutal.
The music can be scary when it isn’t plagued by flutes and there are some actually pretty shots. There are lots of images of sullied purity. The communion wine spills at Ingrid’s church and stains, there seems to be blood in the milk of Ingrid’s goat, blood fills the clean white sink in Ingrid’s bathroom, and Ingrid’s white coat is dirtied and then burnt.
Unfortunately, the movie suffers from the usual Mills Creek rubbish. The visuals are pretty blurry and sometimes the audio sounds like the warning message from Event Horizon. Once you get past those awful thirty minutes, muddy visuals, and fuzzy audio, it’s a weird, interesting movie. I’ll say that it’s a movie where you can’t necessarily trust what you’re seeing but what you’re seeing can be pretty interesting–despite the overly long and detailed ending.