The Corruption of Chris Miller (1973)

R   |    |  Drama, Horror, Mystery

The Corruption of Chris Miller (1973) Poster

Having been abandoned by their husband/father, a traumatized woman and her disturbed stepdaughter hire a drifter handyman at their secluded estate while a series of murders begins.


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13 January 2018 | Bezenby
| Alien Prey without the alien...and the lesbian bits
I hate mimes, so I found the start of this film more disturbing when a guy dressed as Charlie Chaplin murders a nagging woman in a house, then continues to act like the silent film actor afterwards while moving the body, before inexplicably unmasking and running off into the night. The stuff of nightmares indeed.

This killer is terrorizing the local countryside inhabited by neurotic girl Chris Miller, who gets really upset every time it rains, and her stepmother Ruth. Both seem to be waiting for Chris's dad to return home, and seemingly spend their days languishing around the place, arguing and what not. Chris especially seems to get really upset at night, having flashbacks to a ballet class (with a weightlifter nearby) and then stabbing the nearest object she can find. Ruth does her best to calm Chris, even if her methods seem a little too familiar...

One day, annoying hippy drifter Baz or whatever turns up, giving Ruth a full frontal in the barn and then generally trying to charm the pants of her...which works! Chris at first seems a little jealous of this set up, but then when Ruth actively encourages Baz to put the moves on Chris, things don't quite add up and not everyone is as innocent as they appear to be...but is one of them the murderer, who has just carved up five people in one house with a scythe?

For a film with three main characters and not a whole lot of side characters to last almost two hours is a bit of an endurance test. There's almost an hour between the first murder and the slaughter of the family, and in between there we get to see the tension between Chris and her stepmother, the hippy guy making eggs, playing acoustic guitar, and bedding Ruth, and find out exactly what happened to Chris's dad and why Ruth seems determined to 'corrupt' Chris. It even goes some way to explain why Ruth lives in a place where it rains so much even though Chris goes nuts every time it does. But come on... At least there's a few mental things that happen later to keep you awake, like a brutal knife murder and a corpse being found due to peas growing from the body and cracking tarmac (and if you've grown peas, you'll know the plants can barely stand up on their own, never mind cracking tarmac!). This is a bit of an obscure one, and for those with plenty of patience. Of course, the bad copy I watched didn't help, as it rendered quite a lot of the dark scenes unwatchable.

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