Die Hinrichtung (1976)

Directed by Denis Héroux [Other horror films: The Uncanny (1977)] & Géza von Radványi [Other horror films: N/A]

Known under such titles as Naked Massacre and Born for Hell (probably the best title for this one, if it were up to me), Die Hinrichtung is a gritty, raw experience. It’s not altogether exciting, but I do find the premise somewhat fascinating, and though the movie isn’t great, I do think there’s a little here to be interested in.

I first saw this film around ten years ago from a cheap print on the Mill Creek Entertainment’s Chilling Classics 50-movie pack. Honestly, while the print has issues, the audio quality is decent, and the movie is still certainly watchable (which is not something that can be said for all the movies in the same collection). I didn’t remember too much in way of specifics about the movie, which partially made this one a movie I was more interested in revisiting.

Following a disillusioned American who fought in Vietnam, and taking place during The Troubles in Belfast, there’s a lot of commentary on violence here. This American (played by Mathieu Carrière) has had a troubled life – a hard upbringing, a wife who left him, and some mental issues – and left one warzone for another. He doesn’t snap in a PTSD type of way – this isn’t Forced Entry (thank God). But he desperately wants to get home, and doesn’t have the money to do so. And what better way to get money than by trapping a house of nurses and torturing them?

Based partially off the Richard Speck murders, this movie has that gritty exploitation feel without really going out of the way to show too much explicit violence. The sexual violence, while definitely present, is toned down, and there’s not that much in the way of gore (and in fact, the bloodiest scene is a self-inflicted cut toward the finale of the film). It does have that gritty atmosphere, and of course a little nudity thrown in, but this movie isn’t really near as grueling as others from around the same time, such as I Spit on Your Grave, The Last House on the Left, or the aforementioned Forced Entry.

I don’t know Mathieu Carrière, but I thought he did a pretty fine job with his character. He’s occasionally charming, always desperate, and his performance is solid. None of the nurses stand out particularly well, but some, such as Carole Laure, Leonora Fani, and Christine Boisson all add a little oomph with their characters and traumatic predicaments.

The movie isn’t exactly quick-paced, but personally, I don’t think I ever really got bored. That said, I can certainly understand the somewhat lukewarm reception this has received (at the time of this writing, the movie possesses a 5.1/10 on IMDb with 696 votes). It’s probably worth seeing if you’re a fan of gritty 70’s exploitations, even if this is a bit tame, but for a casual horror fan, there may not be a lot here to really interest you. It’s worth mentioning that the version I saw was the same Mill Creek copy, though, so the uncut version likely has more to it.

As for me, I can say that I found the setting (Belfast) and the killer’s history interesting. I don’t think that made this a great movie, but I do think it felt substantially different from a more, shall we say, base exploitation flick, and though I do find the film below average (with the conclusion being perhaps one of my favorite portions), I definitely think I’d find it in me to watch again.


M.D.C. – Maschera di cera (1997)

Directed by Sergio Stivaletti [Other horror films: I tre volti del terrore (2004), Rabbia furiosa (2018), The Profane Exhibit (2018, segment ‘Tophet Quorom’)]

This late 1990’s Italian movie, commonly known as Wax Mask, was a movie I’ve been looking forward to watching ever since I first heard about it. Part of it was because a giallo from that time period would be interesting to begin with, but a bigger draw was simply the fact that I’ve seen very few Italian horror movies from the 1990’s, and virtually none from the late 1990’s (though let’s be honest, aside from Argeto’s 1998 Phantom of the Opera, are there any Italian horror films from the late 1990’s?), and so I was intrigued.

After seeing it, though, more than anything, I thought it was failed potential and a little bit of a mess.

Certainly there were some behind-the-scenes factors that led to such a product. Lucio Fulci was intended to direct this, but he died shortly before filming, so it was given over to Sergio Stivaletti (who had done a lot of special effects works for Italian horror, but hadn’t directed up to that point). Even before then, I’ve heard it said that Argento (who pitched the idea to Fulci to begin with) and Fulci had different visions of the movie, so even if Fulci had directed it, it may not have been much better (especially given that great plots aren’t really Fulci’s strong point).

No matter what happened leading up to the movie, though, the final product is what we have to judge, and though it’s gotten decent reception, and I personally wanted to enjoy it far more than I did, I found it quite underwhelming.

Without a doubt, there were some really strong points here – heck, even re-imaging Mystery of the Wax Museum/House of Wax in an Italian giallo setting was laudable. The gore and special effects throughout are fantastic (and the idea that the figures are still alive behind the wax somewhat terrifying). Well, mostly fantastic – when the museum is on fire at the end, it looks pretty damn amateur. The opening was pretty strong. There were even some fine character-driven moments, and elements of the ending were welcome, at least in the context of the story.

Even at an hour and 40 minutes, though, I felt Wax Mask was missing something, that spark that makes it a fully enjoyable watch. Not that it wasn’t competent enough to get something out of, but the ending, for instance, left something to be desired, along with the whole backstory behind the killer. Also, and it may not come as a big surprise that I took issue with this, the whole metal skeleton thing just felt too fantastic and almost gaudy, especially from a movie I was thinking would be in the purely realistic realm.

Performances here are a mixed bag. I do sort of like both Robert Hossein and Umberto Balli. Aldo Massasso I definitely enjoyed, as his character was one of the few characters that actually seemed like an all-around solid guy. Romina Mondello I’m more torn on – at times, she felt like a throwback to the period of horror where women were portrayed more weakly, and I don’t know if I really felt satisfied with her. Riccardo Serventi Longhi was never great either, though I wonder if the horrible dubbing job has more to do with my perception of his performance than his actual performance. Either way, that was hideous dubbing.

Wax Mask was an okay movie, but something just didn’t fully jibe with me, and while I never had a horrible time with it, it never got to the point where I was really engaged and into the film. Having seen it only once, it’s possible that I’ll grow to appreciate this more with future viewings, but for the time, I found it below average, though clearly possessing the potential to do more.


Opera (1987)

Directed by Dario Argento [Other horror films: L’uccello dalle piume di cristallo (1970), Il gatto a nove code (1971), 4 mosche di velluto grigio (1971), Profondo rosso (1975), Suspiria (1977), Inferno (1980), Tenebre (1982), Phenomena (1985), Due occhi diabolici (1990, segment ‘The Black Cat’), Trauma (1993), La sindrome di Stendhal (1996), Il fantasma dell’opera (1998), Non ho sonno (2001), Il cartaio (2003), Ti piace Hitchcock? (2005), La terza madre (2007), Giallo (2009), Dracula 3D (2012), Occhiali neri (2022)]

Sometimes considered one of the last great Argento films, Opera is a movie that I’ve long been aware of, and given my love of some of his previous work, a movie I’ve wanted to see for some time, and overall, while I thought a few changes here and there might have worked, I found the film quite solid.

A big part of this would be the gore and quality special effects throughout the film, and there are some really spectacular scenes here. Perhaps the most remarkable would be the slow-motion headshot sequence, in which a bullet exits the gun, shoots through the peep-hole, and, as one can imagine, pierces a poor soul in the head. Also quite solid is a kill with a knife through the jar, and a woman forced to watch lest she lose her eyebrows via needles taped near her eyes (as the poster demonstrates).

For a late 80’s giallo, over ten years since the heyday of the sub-genre, Opera did a pretty good job as far as the gore goes. The mystery isn’t quite great, but you’re left wondering who exactly is committing the crimes, the answer for which isn’t entirely satisfactory, but the showdown between the mysterious killer and Cristina Marsillach is pretty solid. I don’t love the final scene – I can see why some wanted it removed for the US release – but that’s not too much a deterrent.

Cristina Marsillach isn’t the best lead I’ve seen, because her character (and this isn’t just her – this could be applied to multiple characters throughout the movie) made her fair share of somewhat questionable decisions. Ian Charleson was a character I wanted to like more, as he struck me as potentially interesting, but I felt he wasn’t entirely fleshed out.

In fact, I think this is a complaint I have with most of the characters, so not only do many of them make some foolish decisions (Marsillach not going to the police after witnessing the murder, or Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni not getting help for Marsillach as soon as she saw her in the glass, etc.), but they make those bad decisions while feeling like somewhat shallow characters, and though that didn’t make the film terrible, by any means, I definitely noticed it.

Of course, I did enjoy seeing the occasional Argento addition of odd lighting at times (the two women being trapped in the apartment may have been the best example of that), but the film, as far as stylistic endeavors went, seemed quite a bit more tame than Argento’s previous works. I also could have done without the somewhat jarring heavy metal music during the kills, but I can understand why they’re there.

So though the mystery wasn’t great, and honestly, the characters weren’t great (Urbano Barberini being one of the few shining lights, as far as dim shining lights go), the kills were pretty solid, and I can say that I did enjoy the film. I just didn’t enjoy it as much as Deep Red or even Suspiria.


Malombra (1917)

Directed by Carmine Gallone [Other horror films: N/A]

I can’t say that I knew anything about this film before watching it, but I was vaguely aware of it’s existence. I didn’t know it was Italian, and I certainly didn’t know the plot or anything else about Malombra, but it was in a list of mine of every cataloged horror film, so I had apparently ran into it at some point.

For the longest time, I’ll admit that I thought the 1925 Maciste all’inferno was the oldest-existing Italian horror film, but I was mistaken, at least in my view. Though more primarily a dark melodrama (to be fair, what horror films from the 1910’s weren’t?), there are some interesting things in this early and admittedly muddled movie.

One of the primary themes is revenge after a young woman (played by Lyda Borelli) reads about the abuse another took from her uncle. That desire for revenge takes some time to reach its boiling point (it’s not entirely clear as the story sometimes moves at a quick pace, but I believe the ending takes place years after the initial reading of the diary), but happen it does, and there’s even a question as to whether or not Marina was possessed when engaging in said revenge (she called herself by another name multiple times, and as she wasn’t the most mentally-stable, it could go either way).

Borelli was as decent as you could expect from a rough movie like this. I certainly thought she showed a solid emotional range, though I do wish some aspects of her character had been expanded on. Same with Augusto Mastripietri, as I think there’s some questions as to exactly why he mistreated Cicelia, the woman who wrote the diary, to begin with. I don’t know if Amedeo Ciaffi’s character was that relevant, or that of his daughter’s, Consuelo Spada, but Amleto Novelli did have an aura to him (though again, I didn’t understand why things didn’t work out between him and Marina).

Through little fault of it’s own, Malombra’s preservation has suffered through some rough degradation. According to my understanding, a little bit of the story is missing, and you can sort of tell, as portions of the story seem somewhat ill-explained (for instance, I don’t know who called off Marina’s wedding, and why that’d cause her to snap, as she didn’t want to get married to the guy anyway), and I’m guessing some of that could be explained in a fuller version of the film.

It’s of little matter, though – even if such a version existed, Malombra would still be more a depressing melodrama with some dark ideas and ill intent thrown in before all else. I’m just personally glad that a version with the original Italian intertitled, and subtitled in English, exists, because otherwise, this obscure silent film would probably have never been seen by my eyes.

This isn’t the most interesting silent horror I’ve seen, but I deeply appreciate having seen it, as it showed me, personally, that Italy was playing around with the genre before I suspected, no matter how muddled this product turned out.


The Night Flier (1997)

Directed by Mark Pavia [Other horror films: Fender Bender (2016)]

I have a bit of a history with this movie, which I’ll get into in detail shortly, but for now, I’ll suffice it by saying that I think The Night Flier is a deeply underrated film, and it’s probably one of the creepiest and best vampire films of the 1990’s, and one of my personal favorite vampire movies of all time (even beating out Fright Night).

Before I go onto the aspects of the film, though, that make this so, let me tell you a story of a young boy named Michael. And for those who don’t know, Michael is my actual name.

Back when I was a kid, my family briefly lived in a small village in New York (the village being Penn Yenn, though that’s neither here nor there as far as the story goes). It was a decently nice house, with both a cellar and an attic, and it seemed large. From the foot of the stairs, you could crouch down and see the television screen clearly, which I did a few times.

And one of the times I did this, my parents were watching The Night Flier (which, if you don’t know, is based off a short story by none other than Stephen King). My parents owned this on VHS, were up late watching it, and I happened to catch some snippets of it.

And it fucking terrified me.

I don’t know all of what I saw when I was a kid. Did I get to the ending and see the vampire in full? I don’t really know. I remember a few scenes I saw (such as the woman getting a perm and watching her husband being killed with a faraway look on her face), but whatever I saw frightened me, so much so that, after my family moved to Indiana, I actually threw the VHS tape down into the basement of the new house, destroying it (which I obviously deeply regret to this day, not only because it’s embarrassing to admit, but because this movie doesn’t have many cheap releases).

So in short, I have a bit of a history with this movie. And sure, that nostalgic value does add a little something to my love of this film, but I like to think that even if I didn’t have experience with this movie while I was a kid, I’d still love it.

First off, that music is amazing. It’s very somber, almost peacefully so, and it lends the film a very dark feel that I think the atmosphere delivers on. This movie has a few funny lines, but there’s very little camp here (which isn’t something that can be said about many King adaptations from the 1990’s), and the atmosphere as a whole is stark and bleak, which of course works well with the conclusion of the film (a conclusion I rather adore).

There’s only four cast members that really matter, being Miguel Ferrer, Julie Entwisle, Dan Monahan, and Michael H. Moss. Ferrer (who had previously been in the mini-series The Stand) did great as the do-anything-for-a-story character, and he was a dick through-and-through, and also, because of that, often entertaining. Entwisle (who was only in a single other film, and married Mark Pavia, the director of this movie) was great as the young, optimistic journalist that gets her spirits crushed entirely. You can’t help but root for her in some form.

Many people can do sleazy, and Monahan (who hasn’t done much in the movie industry past this) does a great job with an upbeat, slimy guy. He plays Ferrer off Entwisle, Entwisle off Ferrer, and doesn’t care as long as he gets that story. He’s also hella entertaining to watch. And though Moss, who plays the killer named ‘The Night Flier’ (which is such a cool name), doesn’t appear until the end, he most definitely leaves his mark.

I also can’t get enough of how The Night Flier was structured narratively. Many of the kills are seen via flashback when Ferrer’s character is interviewing someone, which really helps with the idea that as we’re learning about the gruesome and mysterious crimes as the audience, Ferrer’s character is hearing it for the first time also. There’s even a few dreamy sequences, the most notable one being in the spectacular finale, but another one appears during one of the many flashbacks.

Some of my love for this movie is no doubt nostalgia, but I’ve seen it multiple times in the last few years, and I think it’s a legitimately good movie on it’s own merits, nostalgia be damned. A fantastic film, and one of the most underrated horror films in the history of the whole genre.

But that’s just the humble opinion of a small boy who was frightened by this movie.


Maciste all’inferno (1962)

Directed by Riccardo Freda [Other horror films: I vampiri (1957), Caltiki il mostro immortale (1959), L’orribile segreto del Dr. Hichcock (1962), Lo spettro (1963), L’iguana dalla lingua di fuoco (1971), Estratto dagli archivi segreti della polizia di una capitale europea (1972), Murder Obsession (1981)]

Known sometimes as The Witch’s Curse, this Italian production isn’t a bad film, but is can be somewhat tedious, so ends up in the middle of the road.

I’ve seen this story done before in the 1925 Italian movie of the same name – in both, strongman Maciste goes down to Hell, and must defeat evil and resist temptation before coming back to the over-world. Though I like the somewhat intense framing for the reasoning Maciste went into Hell in this movie more, I’ll say that the 1925 version is a lot more fun.

There’s a Corman-Price movie from 1963 titled The Haunted Palace, which I recently revisited, and what struck me as amusing was how the first 15 minutes of this film follows that beginning of The Haunted Palace almost exactly – a witch/warlock is burned to death and puts a curse on the village, years later an ancestor of that witch/warlock moves back into the castle to the horror of the superstitious townspeople, and instantly the the townspeople want to rush to the castle and set the ancestor to the flame.

In The Haunted Palace, though, the townspeople hold off a bit. Here, though, on the first night that the ancestor and husband get there, they rush the castle with torches and pitchforks, and drag the woman out to be slain. All hope looks lost until the shirtless Maciste comes forth to save the innocent woman, and enters hell to do so.

From a modern, American viewpoint, Maciste is pretty much Superman. He’s an embodiment of all that’s right and good, strong and virtuous, and even when he gets into Hell, he tried to help some of the people suffering, which shows strong character. In relation, I did think Hell looked better in the 1925 version of this story, but here it’s in proper color, and doesn’t look all too shabby.

Kirk Morris is the handsome feller who played Maciste, and I think he did a pretty fair job. Any time he struggled to lift something (which was about half of what he spent time doing), he did a fair job acting like what he was trying to lift was actually heavy. Vira Silenti did pretty good – it was tense that, while Maciste was slowly trying to through Hell to find the witch, that Silenti’s character was getting closer and closer to being burned to death. And playing her husband, Angelo Zanolli did great showing his devotion, perhaps foolishly so, to his wife.

Believe it or not, I wasn’t a young boy in Italy back in the 1960’s, but if I were, I would think that I’d find The Witch’s Curse a moderately fun romp. I don’t personally think this is a great film, but I am somewhat surprised by how it has only a 5.1/10 on IMDb as of this writing. The film has it’s charm, and for a pre-giallo Italian horror/fantasy/adventure film, I think it’s decent.


Les yeux sans visage (1960)

Directed by Georges Franju [Other horror films: N/A]

This French film, commonly known as Eyes without a Face (Les yeux sans visage for my French friends), is one of those classics that I don’t care for. More than anything, once you move past it’s okay story and compelling characters, I find the film somewhat ponderous.

Maybe that’s just how French cinema was at the time. I’ve not seen many from that time period, but both Diabolique (Les diaboliques) and Rififi (Du rififi chez les hommes) came out in 1955, and I had similar feelings about them. The story here is done in such a generally-safe manner (the only scene, throughout the whole film, that really stands out is the face-removal sequence) that it just feels as though it’s dragging.

Pierre Brasseur does decent as a doctor who is trying to save his daughter, but I’m not able to really feel for him, especially as it’s clear his daughter would rather die than keep living as she is. Playing his daughter is Edith Scob, who doesn’t have much in the way of character or meaningful dialogue, but she wears a mask like no other. Alida Valli’s character has a chance to be interesting at times, but never actually becomes interesting, and as much as you’d think that François Guérin’s character would become relevant to the plot, he never really does.

That face-removal scene is pretty solid. It’s not too hard to sit through by any means (maybe partially because the film’s in black-and-white), and it’s done pretty tastefully (which could be said for the whole of the film), so though it’s gory (and the only gory scene in the movie, aside from maybe the ending if you stretch the definition of ‘gory’), it’s not enough to really boost the movie up.

I first saw this when I was much younger, and I got bored with it. I was a kid, though, and I don’t think most kids who were born in the early 1990’s could have sat through this movie without becoming restless. I’m 26 now, though, and guess what? I still became quite bored quite quickly. A few okay things happened, but this film took it’s time and I just don’t see it as worth it.

Obviously I’m in the minority, as the film is of course considered a French classic. Diabolique is a lot better, though, and I think the suspense there outdoes the somewhat tiring drama of this movie, face-removal scene or no.


Non aprite quella porta 3 (1990)

Directed by Claudio Fragasso [Other horror films: Virus (1980), Rats – Notte di terrore (1984), Leviatán (1984), Zombi 3 (1988), After Death (Oltre la morte) (1989), La casa 5 (1990), Troll 2 (1990), Una notte da paura (2012), Italian horror stories (2021)] & Bruno Mattei [Other horror films: Casa privata per le SS (1977), KZ9 – Lager di sterminio (1977), Virus (1980), L’altro inferno (1981), Violenza in un carcere femminile (1982), Rats – Notte di terrore (1984), Zombi 3 (1988), Terminator II (1989), Occhi senza volto (1994), Cruel Jaws (1995), Snuff killer – La morte in diretta (2003), Mondo cannibale (2004), Nella terra dei cannibali (2004), La tomba (2006), L’isola dei morti viventi (2007), Zombi: La creazione (2007)]

This Italian film, originally titled Non aprite quella porta 3, was an occasionally fun, occasionally dry movie, but I don’t think many people could say that it wasn’t entertaining.

Once the film moves away from the random kills and starts focusing on a single woman (Tara Buckman) and her ordeal of being abducted by a mysterious man (Peter Hooten), I think the movie gets in a bit of a lull, but it really doesn’t stay there long, and even though the portions I could have done without, it doesn’t stay too dull.

I’d say that no one really went out of there way to give a great performance, but most of the main actors and actresses were fine, such as Tara Buckman and Peter Hooten (despite his somewhat questionable character). Mel Davis (the police officer) and Lee Lively (the doctor) made for an interesting pair when they were on screen, and I appreciated it. I don’t think we learned enough about Richard Foster’s character to really make a judgment one way or the other.

Being a slasher fan, I did enjoy most of the kills here. None of them are really amazing (most of them end with the killer ramming his razor-sharp claw-glove through women’s stomachs), but that opening scene had some quality suspense and even a painful-looking cut. As for the end – well, I appreciate them going outside the box a little (because if things had ended how it was setting up to, it would have been quite the lack-luster conclusion), but I’m not entirely buying it either.

The masked killer in Night Killer looks silly, but it does possess it’s hokey charm, and certainly if he’s raping and killing women, the silliness of his mask sort of declines over time. I don’t think this Italian movie was necessary, and I wish it felt more like a giallo than a third-rate slasher, but for the early 90’s, in a country where soon horror would be hard to come by, I can appreciate the film. I just don’t love it.


This is one of the films covered on Fight Evil’s podcast. If you’re interested in hearing what Chucky (@ChuckyFE) and I think about this Italian film, check it out, brahs.

From Beyond (1986)

Directed by Stuart Gordon [Other horror films: Re-Animator (1985), Dolls (1986), Daughter of Darkness (1990), The Pit and the Pendulum (1991), Castle Freak (1995), Dagon (2001)]

I have to admit that when I saw this film for the first time, it didn’t click. If you were to ask me what I didn’t like about it, I don’t know entirely if I would be able to give a great answer. The truth is I’m pretty sure I watched it on the same day I watch seven or eight other classic horror films, and this just got lost in the sauce, as Howie Hawkins (the presidential candidate I voted for in 2020) would often say.

So seeing it again was a nice surprise. I still can’t admit to loving it, because I don’t. I think the atmosphere is great, the main performances are solid, even the story is decently interesting (with elements of both Videodrome and a sprinkle of Prince of Darkness thrown in), but I lose interest in the last thirty minutes or so (once they leave the house and hit the mental institution). It’s not a bad direction, but I didn’t care much for it.

Of course, Jeffrey Combs (who I recently saw in The Attic Expeditions, and is most well-known for Re-Animator and voicing the Question in Justice League Unlimited) is a treat to see here, and there’s a  decent amount of sympathy felt for his character despite not really knowing much about him. Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator and Chopping Mall) was attractive here, especially in her glasses. Ken Foree (who, in fact, I forgot was in this – I loved him in Dawn of the Dead) was a lot of fun too.

Even with the strong cast and amazing special effects, the atmosphere doesn’t carry over to the mental institution, at least in my view. It’s still a good movie, but I’m rating it around average, and can only hope that I eventually grow to enjoy it as much as many other seem to.


Burnt Offerings (1976)

Directed by Dan Curtis [Other horror films: House of Dark Shadows (1970), Night of Dark Shadows (1971), The Night Strangler (1973), The Norliss Tapes (1973), The Invasion of Carol Enders (1973), Scream of the Wolf (1974), Dracula (1974), The Turn of the Screw (1974), Trilogy of Terror (1975), Dead of Night (1977), Curse of the Black Widow (1977), Intruders (1992), Trilogy of Terror II (1996)]

Ah, good ole’ Burnt Offerings.

I can imagine that to a modern-day audience, Burnt Offerings can come across as overly drawn out and unnecessarily lengthy. At almost two hours long, one could almost see their point, were it not for the fact that Burnt Offerings is fantastic from beginning to end.

Ever since I first saw this one, it stuck with me long after I saw it. To be sure, a large part of this was due almost singularly to the character of The Chauffeur (Anthony James), who has been my Twitter banner, and occasionally my avatar on various sites, since seeing this, but even ignoring what a great character James was, the story’s slow pacing and steadily increasing unease is some of the best slow-burn I’ve seen in a long time.

Another thing that can’t go unmentioned is the stellar cast. Karen Black and Oliver Reed (Paranoiac) do phenomenally, Reed in particular during the pool sequences. Of course, Burgess Meredith was nice to see in his brief scenes, and I’ll talk more about Anthony James’ performance shortly, but I think the real star here, once you get past Black and Reed, would be Bette Davis.

Though close to 70 at the time this movie came out, Davis was just fantastic as a strong, older woman full of energy only to find that, the longer she stayed at the house, the more she felt drained. She became forgetful and fearful, and her youthful exuberance dissipated almost entirely. The argument she had with Black’s character about whether or not she turned the heat on in the room of Black’s son was a tense one, and really showed the strength of both actresses present. Davis, of course, also starred in both What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? and Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte, both of which are very much classics themselves.

Anthony James’ The Chauffeur didn’t pop up that often, but pretty much every time he did, talk about tense scenes. It’s amazing that a character with no dialogue and so few on-screen sequences can make such an impression, but James managed it, and managed it beautifully. His scenes are great, and whenever he pops up, you’re in for a heart-racing time.

Are there some unexplained questions? Sure, and even the ending, while pretty solid, probably could have been cleaned up a little, but at the same time, I thought it gave a fantastic element of suspense, and though I didn’t end up loving the conclusion, I definitely felt that it was still worth the wait.

All-in-all, Burnt Offerings is probably one of my favorite of the more traditional haunted house films, beating out great films (The Innocents, though to be fair, this is more of a tie) and others (The Legend of Hell House, 1963’s The Haunting) to really stand out solidly for both the decade of the 1970’s and the genre overall.


This is one of the films covered by Fight Evil’s podcast. Listen below as Chucky (@ChuckyFE) and I review Burnt Offerings.