IF YOU'RE GONNA KILL 'EM MAKE SURE THEY STAY DEAD
Crucible Of Horror aka The Corpse (1971) UK
I am very respectful, in general, of the early days of horror. Those early days, of course, started somewhere in the '30's so I get to make fun of this movie all I want. Let's start with the title shall we? A crucible - okay that gets a pass because besides meaning basically a huge pot, it can also mean a place of severe test and trial. Since this is a movie about nasty daddy dearest, we can let that go. Horror? Well, knowing you're in for 90 minutes of a movie of nasty daddy being good to his son but a real bastard to wife and daughter and the consequences (or non-consequences) might be considered horror - to you. This movie was an outright snorefest. Renaming it The Corpse doesn't help, it's the same movie.
Our story is about a British mild-mannered sadist named Walter, a man of means and meanies. He adores his son but abuses both wife and daughter (of which the son is aware but too spineless to do anything about). After taking a switch to his daughter for stealing some money (she's in her late teens) both mother and daughter plot to get rid of him. When mommy finally has enough and tells her daughter 'Let's kill him.' you want to applaud 'cause hey, that means the fun's going to start, right? Problem is that 1. They're movie-stupid and 2. They're wimps.
Instead of just taking him out (a good axe or shotgun should do it) they get all elaborate and wait until he goes on his weekend hunting trip in his cabin in the woods (uh oh) to get back at him. They're going to poison him, make it look like suicide and sit and... I don't know, talk for the rest of the movie? Might as well 'cause the action is zero in this yawnfest.
I suppose the director tried to make up for the non-story combined with non-action by making this film 'arty' by using symbolism and nice camera shots and detailed sets but... let's face it, after about five minutes of that you're just begging for somebody's head to get split by an axe. But no, both women face off with him in his cabin and somehow manage to poison him. But they don't seem to know what 'dead' is, because afterward we clearly see him breathing, even moving, yet the two women seem oblivious to it.
I guess it's because we're not meant to know whether or not they really did it or just really WANT to do it. I WANT them to do it 'cause that means something's happening here, but... I think this is just a movie about an unhappy family that's too chickenshi.... uh, too afraid to do anything about it, so they continue to suffer in silence because at the end there is daddy dearest, at the head of the table, ruling as usual, leaving the audience with a very weak 'Huh?' because in truth, we really just don't care.
Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.