I haven't yet seen the remake and I probably won't due to the fact that most updatings are really unnecessary IF the original source material gets as much press and has the cult following that this film has. So, I dusted off my old full screen DVD copy AND an old wide screen VHS and revisited this cool trendsetter.
I dig Jamie Lee Curtis and she fully deserves her scream queen status yet I have to admit that Anne Marie Martin AKA Eddie Benton successfully steals the film from JLC and everyone involved! Simultaneously vile and amazingly gorgeous (Anne's only equal at the time was the just as striking Deborah Harry), the 'wendy' subplot really helped move the film along even though it was just a portion of 'Carrie' (1976) revamped! And you really have to give a film serious credit when the supporting actress possesses the film and takes it away from the rightful star Curtis.
While everyone knows the storyline (highschoolers stalked on Prom Night at an atmospheric coastal school) the film also benefits from a demanding visual style (i.e. intercutting of beginning storyline with the killer's phone calls, flashbacks of escaped fugitive, etc.) that is equal to another modest budget slasher flick around the same time: the very good 'Silent Scream' (1980) which I was lucky enough to see in a theater at the time ('Friday The 13th' (1980) was sold out!).
So, nothing new to add just my two cents on why the film has cult status. Oh yeah, as for the soundtrack: serious collector's wet dream. Paul Zaza should re-issue this Disco SnDtRcK for the masses as I know many DJs as well as the average Joe would sell an appendage to own a copy of this.
Way back in pre-vcr, early 1980s Florida I tried to stay up and watch this but ultimately fell asleep before the film's airing time. This was when channel 13 was ALWAYS showing little imported horror and suspense films like: Beyond The Door, Dracula A.D. 1972, Shock Waves, Welcome To Arrow Beach, Secret Of Seagull Island, The Psychic, Lady In The Car With Glasses And A Gun, Night Watch (with Billie Whitelaw), Rider On The Rain, Hands Of The Ripper, Reflections Of Murder (Tv's Diabolique remake), Rosemary's Baby, The Legend Of Lizzie Borden, etc, just to name a few from memory. Very cool time! Anyway, this missed opportunity has always haunted me and I've searched for this title for years so when Turner Classic Movies aired this I was elated! Was it worth the wait? I can honestly say yes. A great film? No, but highly watchable and everything I had expected based on the brief, old summary that TV guide gave the film. I can't add to anything that has already been posted about this film but if you dig seeing attractive ladies in peril running around an appropriately gaudy Gothic villa and sunny, Naples scenery then this fills the plate. While watching 'Dark Purpose' films like 'Hatchet For The Honeymoon' and 'Champagne Murders' immediately popped in my head. That should give a clue as to the actual feel of the movie (if one has seen these two flicks). AND of note is the always great George Sanders: brief but exceptionally bitchy with some snide lines! What a little queen! One last thing: it's been posted that the print that TCM aired was bad (with seriously spotty sound) and maybe so but that's only in comparison to their normal output of LBX & remastered films, yes then it was a low grade print. But in my opinion: shoddy 'Dark Purpose' is better than no 'Dark Purpose'
I'm really amazed that there aren't more comments on this Giallo (OVERUSED TERM) from 1968. Creepy opening credits really set the mood in motion as a hooded fiend slithers around a Baroque private clinic for the mentally unstable.
Set in Norfolk, circa 1840/1870, this neat little Belgian-French-Italian flick, in my opinion, seems to have influenced those string of Harry Towers' Edgar Allan Poe adaptations that were shot in South Africa around the late 1980s/early 1990s. You remember them? They were simultaneously gaudy & Gothic and were definitely an extension to the '60s renaissance of period psycho-chillers that were spearheaded by all of those Euro shockers and Corman's E.A.P flix. But back to this film, without giving anything away, all is not what it seems and the initial denouement, or wrap up explaining all of the craziness that transpired beforehand, would later be haphazardly copied in many slice and dice movies from the slasher craze of the '70s & '80s. In other words: Very well done for it's time. Also of note: I first saw this on Creature Feature in Florida in the '80s and the print was clear as day but the only version I have been able to procure is dark and muddy. Owning it is better than not having it in my book anyway. Worth checking out for the 'Giallo' buff and of note to collectors/researchers: the version I have runs approximately 82 minutes.
Nicely lensed Horror-Comedy that's nowhere to be found. Extreme Spoilers!..
I remember this little number from the good old days and being a youth at the time I got a real kick out of it. Little did I realize that this hour long TV film (pilot?) was more of an updating of 1932's 'Old Dark House' as it tells the story of a family that arrive at a storm swept inn (might be a house but I believe the family was gonna take control of it due to mercantile reasons but I could be wrong) and encounter all sorts of menacing occurrences in a kinda 'Airplane'-ish way. Lotsa lightning storms and spookhouse atmosphere and I believe there was a klutzy overweight bellhop if my memory serves well. Also an elderly cobwebbed freak lurking about the premises and brandishing an axe add a welcome sense of horror to the shenanigans. But when all is said and done, just like 'The Old Dark House', everything is explained away and anything appearing malevolent turns out to be, on the contrary, appealing (those who saw this will know exactly what I mean). While nothing supernatural occurs, the atmosphere of the proceedings completely belies this fact and this, hands down, is far more entertaining than the dank 1981 film 'Private Eyes' that for some strange reason is exceedingly popular and had a huge berth upon its release. Just my two cents on another lost bit of television..
Gorgeous Fall ambiance frames nearly every scene of this Canadian film.
Like the 1990 film 'Twin Peaks', beautiful burnt oranges and reds are the dominating colors of this supernatural tinged TV(?) film. A nice spooky aura elevates a rather pedestrian story of a man (THE INCREDIBLE John Ireland) and his unusual interest in the welfare of a dead girl. Upon 'adopting' this unearthly child (from a graveyard by the sea!!) the story starts to drift into standard detective fare. Other than Mr. Ireland, the supporting actors in this film are a bit wooden, quite likable but wooden and the story works well only if you have a strong cup o' Joe at hand. In a nutshell, not a bad film in the least just could've been a tad tighter in its storytelling. Also the film benefits from a great, atmospheric opening sequence which is bathed in ghostly blue hues AND the sturdy looking, quiet Canadian township (are there townships in Canada?) where this was committed to celluloid. On a final note: there is the chance that most people won't get to see this so I feel lucky that I procured 'Graveyard Story' way back in the early 1990s when Goodtimes put it on VHS and have on occasion enjoyed the ability to double feature this with 1981's 'Ghost Story' (two films at separate ends of the spectrum BUT equal on the atmosphere!). For obscure film buffs only..UPDATE: 'Graveyard Story' is on DVD as a single film or in a 3 pack called 'Thriller Vol. 3: Triple Movie Treat' (also in the set are the films 'Murder-In-Law' (with Joe Estevez) & 'Eye Of The Stranger' (with Martin Landau & Stella Stevens) for those interested.