‘The House of Seven Corpses’ (1974) Retro Movie Review
A director chooses a creepy old mansion to shoot his newest occult film. Despite his knowledge of the seven murders committed on the property, he pushes his crew to complete the film. Writer/director, Paul Harrison, misses the mark in this retro horror film about the reality of ignoring cautionary tales.
The film begins on an intentionally disjointed note, misleading the viewer long enough to gain some opening momentum. The motley film crew are composed of an overbearing and seemingly oblivious director, an occult-fearing actress, an over-the-top actor, and several equally clueless members working behind the scenes. Veteran actors John Carradine and John Ireland offer unusually stunted acting for the bulk of the movie. Terrible dialogue and delivery plague Seven Corpses from start to finish, making the comical transcendence wear thin quickly.
There is no clear act I, II, or III, rather, the film blurs together, relying on nonsensical trigger moments to move the story forward. The players make terrible choices, including, but not limited to ignoring the lethally obvious. Demons, suicide, a Tibetan Book of the Dead; the flick really throws a lot out there. The viewer is the poor bastard that must piece the film together, leaving it up to us to interpret the point of the film. I like a good head-scratcher, but the film is ambiguous to a fault; specifically the lazy, unfocused filmmaking. Regardless of being filmed in a Victorian home, there is a lack of expansive exterior shots, removing yet another visual element the film should possess. I promise the B-movie appeal will wear off quickly, so spend your time watching a film from this era that still holds up.
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