Hush… Hush Sweet Charlotte (1964)
Director: Robert Aldrich
Main Stars: Bette Davis, Oliva de Havilland, Joseph Cotton, Ages Moorehead, Victor Buono
Storyline: A young woman is blamed for the murder of her ex boyfriend as he admits he still loves his wife.
Review (Spoils): Charlotte Hollis (Bette Davis) is young and innocent except for her affair with a married man. When her dad (Victor Buono) threatens the young man and he is found murdered, only Charlotte is to blame. Years pass, and she has slowly gone mad with dreams of ghosts, guilt and the taunting of the town.
Bette Davis returns to the horror screen this time in a very similar character as Whatever Happened to Baby Jane but because of this it harms the film. The story line of this one is much like Dementia 13 meets something from Hitchcock but lacking the in pace. The film is long and can be long winded until it starts to unfold in the last 30min. The storyline bounces around too much on Charlotte going mad and reliving over and over again the visions of the late John and trying to please her father. Until more of the past characters start to make appearance and the tale starts to unfold on what really did happen to John that night of the party.
The film is more of ghost like madness tale then relying on blood and gore, but it does have a neat beheading, chopped of hand and some minor blood. So not bad for its time.
Rating: Trying so hard to become the next Whatever Happened to Baby Jane this one flunks on boredom. It would have not been that bad of a film if it wasn’t for the length of it and the back and forth on the madness. The film worked on the story line and the characters, but it just was too goddamn long for what it was worth. Bette Davis, Oliva de Havilland did steal the show but for some reason I found Victor Buono the true monster of the film.
What Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
Director: Robert Aldrich
Main Stars: Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Victor Buono, Wesley Addy
Storyline: A former child star lives in her child star past and torments her younger crippled sister with what was.
Review (Spoils): Baby Jane Hudson (Bette Davis) was once a Hollywood childhood star but now lives in a fallen apart mansion with her crippled younger sister Blanche (Joan Crawford). Blanche who also was an actress but older sister was always jealous of. Through the film we were the connection of Blanche’s disability and Baby Jane and the control of her younger sister starts to take its toll. Baby Jane starts to lose her mind more and more and the micro control and hold that she has over Blanche starts to become scary and overwhelming.
We have minds games that Jane wants to be more like Blanche as she was more successful in her later years unlike Jane herself. We have dead birds, thrown out letters, disconnection from society, the whacked out Jane telling herself and living in her past about how great she was and she is the victim now.
Both sisters play the parts amazing as the horror of this film is the mind of Baby Jane herself. Don’t expect blood or gore in this on e as it plays off as a dark and gloomy film and the tension works well. as it plays off as a dark and gloomy film and the tension works well.
Rating: Both Bette Davis and Joan Crawford are legends when it comes movies in general but at the same they have both done their share of horror films. This film stands out on its own not just as a classic mind twist horror film but a classic film in general which is very rare and hard to find in this day and age of horror films. To me Bette Davis was always a bit scary to watch yes she was known for her eyes but to me they were not beautiful but yet creepy as she always had that look that something else was going on behind them.
Burnt Offerings (1976)
Director: Dan Curtis
Main Stars: Karen Black, Oliver Reed, Bette Davis
Storyline: Caretakers move into a gothic house what they do not know is the house gains more beauty each death within its residence.
Review (Spoils): We have the Rolf family that moved into an old gothic house as care takers for the summer. Ben (Oliver Reed), his wife Marian (Karen Black) and son David move in and right away strange things start to happen. The house starts to suck the good essence out of them and uses for itself to become the grand mansion it once was. The more accidents and freaks death the more grand the house becomes. Through all the time Marian becomes more and more attached to the house and slow becoming more elderly almost ghost like as the house sucks the life from her. Another example is Aunt Elizabeth (Bette Davis) who also ages quickly and becomes very sick. The only person that seems to understand this is the father Ben especially after nearly drowns his son (that dam crazy house!).
The film has no real gore it feeds off of being eerie and leans a lot on death and regenerations. Karen Black steals the show with her freakiness as usual which is just natural for her. Bette Davis also did an awesome job and her makeup was great as she aged. Oliver Reed always freaked me out period!
Rating: If you’re looking for a good old fashion “this house is f*cked up” movie this is great. I really enjoyed this film and have seen many times. It has a great feel for the great age of 70’s horror films and plus it has two of the best freaky dames of horror Bette Davis and Karen Black.