Black comedy - Completed 1973

A rich blend of of camp, gore and comedy. A definite B movie, with warning bells. Remastered. Directed by IVAN REITMAN

    • Year of production
    • 1973
    • Genres
    • Black comedy
    • Countries
    • CANADA
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 0.3 - 0.6 M$
    • Duration
    • 84 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Ivan REITMAN
    • Writer(s)
    • Daniel GOLDBERG, Robert SANDLER
    • Producer(s)
    • Daniel GOLDBERG (Scary Pictures), Ivan REITMAN (Scary Pictures)
    • Synopsis
    • The film takes place in Farnhamville, a small Canadian town that Cliff (Levy) and his new girlfriend Gloria (Martin) are traveling through. Their car breaks down in the snow, and while their car is being fixed at the town's service station, they meet a guy who tells them his sister is missing, and shows them her picture. He also recommends a motel down the road that they can stay at while they are waiting.
      Mrs Wainright, the owner of the motel, lets Cliff and Gloria in on Farnhamville's ugly secret. Once upon a time, three young girls lived together in a nearby house and would bring men home to kill and eat them. In a flashback sequence, we see just that as three men have sex with the girls, and are subsequently killed. The last man is chained to the bed while the women pour blood over his chest and eat him alive. The couple is shocked by the story, but Mrs Wainright explains that the murders happened "a long time ago" and now the house is a local eatery. She even offers to take them there for dinner. They agree, and Cliff and Gloria go off to relax in their room. Gloria falls asleep while Cliff sings her a song (he wants to be a rock star) and when she wakes, Mrs Wainright drops them off at the restaurant.
      They are welcomed by Reverend Alex St. John, a strange bearded figure in a top hat who looks like some kind of carnival magician. The Reverend gives them a tour of the house, including a stop in the house's own "chamber of horrors" where more grisly stories about the house are revealed. This scene is especially fun, as the camera travels over each object while the Reverend narrates grisly tales. Of course, the final objects of horror are long knives "said to have been used by a group of cannibals that once inhabited the house." While Cliff and Gloria cautiously eat their meal (served by three familiar girls), Reitman interjects some footage of people around town who are eating large hunks of meat under an imposing picture of the Reverend.
      Ronald Ulrich is downright unsettling as the Reverend, and his addition adds a touch of class to the picture. He's almost like a Vincent Price character, quoting Shakespeare and vaugely demonic poetry, as he flips his cape and contorts his face.
      Once the meal is finished, Gloria and Cliff enjoy some wine, and the girls sing a hymn. The Reverend convinces them to stay the night, and it isn't long before he enters their bedroom with the three girls in tow. Cliff is chained to the bedposts, and the Reverend tries to hypnotize Gloria to kill her boyfriend with a knife. Breaking his grip, she escapes from the house. Although the girls chase her, Gloria manages to hitch a ride with a doctor, who takes her home and gives her a sedative.
      When Gloria awakens again, she is back in her motel bed, with Cliff. Realizing that her experience at the house has been nothing but a bad dream, the two go for a walk around the town to relax. Gloria still wants to leave, but Cliff tells her they can't, since the car is still being fixed and there are no buses leaving until the next day. As they sit on the curb talking, the Sheriff arrests them for "vagrancy." But instead of taking them to the police station, Gloria is shocked to see hat the Sheriff has brought them to the Reverend's restaurant...