[31 Days Of Horror] Mini Reviews: The Offspring (1987) and Lisa And The Devil (1973)

Mini Review Day 23: The Offspring (1987) aka From A Whisper To A Scream

What do you do when you see a film being advertised as starring Vincent Price and Clu Gulager? You track that down right away! That is what I did; I think my jaw dropped when I saw those two names together in a late 80’s horror film. I had to add it to my list, and I was pretty excited to check it out. As usual, I didn’t read a synopsis or watch a trailer before hand and I had no idea this was a type of anthology film. But was it a good anthology film? I am sorry to say, this was not my cup of tea and I agree very much with my good friend A.J. on this who also watched this as part of his October Horror-thon (see his review here).

The film doesn’t begin in such a way that you know it is an anthology; in fact it opens up on an execution. Katherine White (Martine Beswick) is finally seeing her final moments after she committed a murder spree. A reporter (Susan Tyrrell) then goes to see a librarian (Vincent Price) who also happens to be Katherine’s uncle. He tells her about the dark past of the town, and recounts several stories, which make up the anthology. They are all strange stories that will either interest you, or put you to sleep.

Each segment I guess had their moments, but none of them really stood out for me. I honestly didn’t mind the first one, which featured a very creepy Clu Gulager and I didn’t mind it because he was very good in it. The performances all around the board are actually rather decent, although I don’t think Vincent Price’s heart was in this one and he is criminally underused. It is an interesting experiment in the anthology genre, but it has been done far better and far worse. I barely made it through this one, mainly because it just didn’t engage me. Just because it wasn’t for me, doesn’t mean others wont get something out of it.

Rating:

Mini Review Day 24: Lisa And The Devil (1973)

I was drawn to Lisa And The Devil because it was a Mario Bava film, and I wanted something a little more unusual of his on my list to check out. Well unusual wasn’t wrong, as this film is down right INSANE! This is such an odd and strange film, and I honestly still have no idea what I just watched. It starts off with a very Soap Opera style opening credit sequence, and the first part of the film isn’t anything crazy – but it gets there. Now I know the film was re-edited and had additional scenes put in, but I actually have no idea which version I saw …

The story here is about a woman Lisa (Elke Sommer) who is on a vacation, a tourist in a city, who sees a few strange things – mainly an odd looking man that resembles something she saw (played by Kojak himself Telly Savalas) earlier. Seemingly lost in the streets, with no help in sight she winds up meeting another couple and then ends up at a house – where the real strange and deceptiveness begins.

I know that is rather brief, but to give away what happens once she reaches the house is spoiler territory and where it really gets crazy. I don’t mind films that are like that, and for the most part I did like this film. Perhaps I did not see the original cut? I cannot be sure, but shall investigate the matter and if indeed I saw the edited cut I want to see the original version – if it still exists. As a narrative, the film can be all over the place and not feeling the best my brain scrambled a bit with this. However Lisa And The Devil is one of the most visual stunning films I have seen this month, the vibrant colours and the cinematography are amazing. It was a lovely shot film, there is such craftsmanship in each and every frame, it is astounding. Even if the events in the film had lost me, at least I had something amazing to look at. I shall revisit this in due time, and see if I feel any different.

Rating:

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

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