[31 Days Of Horror] Mini Reviews: The Legacy (1978) and Faceless (1987)

Mini Review Day 17: The Legacy (1978)

I am not entirely sure where I even heard about this film, but I am pretty sure I added it to the list because it starred Sam Elliot. I had no idea what the film was about, so I went into this completely blind. I didn’t mind the film; it was rather odd with a decent mystery about it. It is one of those films that begins fairly normally and it isn’t till a good 20 minutes in you start to get a grasp of its horror and mystery elements. It feels very much like a product of its time, and it serves as an interesting piece of late 70’s filmmaking.

The story here is about Margaret Walsh (Katharine Ross) and Pete Danner (Sam Elliot) who get invited to England for a project. While hesitant, they head over and while they are out on his motorbike they have an accident (or is it?) and get taken back to the estate of Jason Mountolive (John Standing). Soon more guests arrive, and things get stranger when the pair finds they are unable to leave.

I did enjoy the mystery of the film, and the strange events that happened. It is the kind of film that takes its time to build up, it never feels slow however as the pace is rather steady. Some elements are rather silly but they happen in such a way you barely get time to really notice or dwell on it. I felt there were a few issues in telling the actual story, as some things were not made overly clear. The performances by the leads are really strong, and they carry the film well. The Legacy is a mixed bag for sure, but it turns out to be enjoyable all the same. Funnily enough the director Richard Marquand went on to later helm Star Wars Episode VI: The Return Of The Jedi.

Rating:

Mini Review Day 18: Faceless (1987)

Why was I compelled to replace one film on my list with this Jess Franco affair (the other film I was going to watch did not arrive in time)? I honestly have no idea, I thought it looked rather different than his usual films and some reviews had said it was a hidden gem. Were they correct? Was this indeed worth seeing? Yes and no …

Faceless is Jess Franco’s own version of Eyes Without A Face (1960), just a lot gorier, more erotic and trashy. Faceless isn’t an awful film, but it isn’t really that good either. The story here is about a crazed surgeon whose sister’s face gets ruined by acid after an unsatisfied customer aimed to throw her rage on him but the sister took it instead. So he goes about trying to get her a new face by using models that he keeps locked up. One of those models has a rich father who sends a PI out to investigate her disappearance.

The premise sounds good enough, but the execution here is just so … well odd. Franco tries to make this an erotic film, when it really isn’t nor should it be. The gore factor is actually great and extremely well done; the face transplant stuff is hard to watch. The film itself feels very much like a product of the late 80’s, and it has that trashy atmosphere. The acting visually seemed not bad, but the English dub is one of the worst I’ve had to put up with all year. It is a nice looking film; Franco has no issues with making visually interesting films. Faceless ends up being unintentionally hilarious, and in turn this makes it a more interesting experience.

Rating:

You can view my entire list of 31 Days Of Horror 2012 HERE

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