Thursday, October 05, 2017

MOOM PITCHER REVIEW! WHO SLEW AUNTIE ROO? starring Shelley Winters, Ralph Richardson and Mark Lester! (1971)

About a good half-year before WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH HELEN spurt forth upon the moom pitcher circuit Shelley Winters and Curtis Harrington were involved with this little cheapie for American International, custom made not only for the drive in brigades but a few good years of tee-vee syndication in the "Creature Feature" package of your choice. Winters plays an Amerigan widow living in what looks like Victorian England who always has a buncha the orphans from the local gruelfarm over for the Christmas holidays just so's they can have some fun and jamz for once in their miserable lives. When two of the most incorrigible kids from the school, mainly Christopher and his kid cyster Katy sneak away to spy on the proceedings they are caught by the sadistic cook and are about to be pummeled to the ground when they are saved by Winters herself and invited to join with the rest and more behaved kiddies. Y'see, little Katy looks a whole lot like Winder's long deceased daughter who died during a particularly deadly banister slide, and the occult-loving lady would just love to have the gal for her very own given that the actual daughter in now holed up in a secret room and decaying away like anything.

Tie in the story of Hansel and Gretel and ya gotcherself a nice update on that li'l saga that I'm sure will rouse up a few kiddieish feelings of spookdom that would be heightened by turning out alla lights inna house and watching while shivering in fear underneath the sheets like you know """""I""""" did. What a thitthy!

Winters is her usual slightly askew self oozing both fear 'n pathos as the widow longing for the return of her deceased progeny while Lester was at just the age when he was oozing the goo outta your own cyster every time he would pop up on THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR or some other tee-vee show spilling his naive English charm all over the place. The rest of the cast is good enough even though Ralph Richardson's role coulda been played by any other hand over-the-hill actor in Blighty...however the guy who plays the cook and joins Winters and Richardson in the phony seance attempts to reach the dead daughter is sadistic enough to my liking, especially in the scene where he catches Lester and threatens to cut out his tongue. I dunno about you, but scenes like that really bring out the ol' softie in me.

WHO SLEW AUNTIE ROO ain't as nerve-gripping as Winter's next cinematic (whew!) foray with Harrington but steady enough for a fun film romp if I do say so myself. A must catch however your technosavvy mind can handle it.

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