Wednesday, May 29, 2013

DON’T OPEN THE DOOR (1974) movie review

Don't Open the Door (1974) d. Brownrigg, S. F. (USA)

Brownrigg, who brought us 1973's micro-budget cult classic Don’t Go in the Basement, returns with a (slightly) larger budget, improved camera skills and several DGITB cast members. When Susan Bracken receives a strange phone call from her Texas hometown requesting that she come home to visit ailing grandmother Rhea MacAdams, she enters a world of duplicitous politicians, scheming museum curators, and questionable physicians, as well as a cross-dressing psychopath with a penchant for nasty phone calls.

From the opening credits featuring some of the most grotesque children’s dolls on record to the hallucinogenic dream sequences, Brownrigg manages to create a disconcerting, Southern Gothic flavor that will leave most viewers feeling as dirty as the sweaty onscreen characters. Haunted by flashbacks of her mother’s murder in the same house 13 years prior coupled with the peeping tom/obscene phone harassment, Bracken is soon pushed to the brink of her wits, with only ex-boyfriend Hugh Feagin to offer aid.

Bare bones as can be, but the twisted storyline – along with the convincingly eccentric performances, especially from Larry O’Dwyer and Gene “cut those damn three hairs off your forehead” Ross – manages to carry the day. Well worth checking out for open-minded fans of 70s sleaze.

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