Friday, October 02, 2009
31 Days of Halloween - Day 2 - Movie 1
Roy Scheider makes his feature film debut in "The Curse of the Living Corpse" (1964). The movie was written, directed, and produced by Del Tenney, the same man who brought the world "The Horror of Party Beach" . The movie starts off with some nice imagery and a good premise. After the much loathed family patriarch dies, his will is read to his greedy never-do-well heirs and servants. The patriarch, who had a paralyzing degenerative muscular disorder and a phobia about being buried alive had stipulated that torches be kept lit in his vault and that the door remain unlocked, just in case he weren't really dead. If these terms were not met, he'd return from the grave to make sure that each of his heirs died truly horrible deaths based upon their own phobias. Soon enough, activity begins at the crypt and the bodies start piling up.
This movie has its moments, but lacks a sense of real dread during the key moments where it really needs to be making the audience squirm in their seats. The murders are also filmed in the most lackluster manner, and the lurking murderer on screen is a less than menacing cloaked figure wearing a hat and mask, as if Lamont Cranston, the Shadow had stepped out of the noirish pulp magazines that spawned him and into someone's brightly lighted back yard.