Thursday, February 19, 2015

Short Attention Span Review: The Legacy (1978)

Katherine Ross and Sam Elliot headline this kooky fright flick as an American couple who have made a name for themselves as architects.  They accept a job that takes them to England, and shortly thereafter they embark on a joy ride through the country on Sam's motorcycle.  They are involved in a minor accident where the only casualty is the motorcycle.  The passenger in the other vehicle is a curious fellow who introduces himself as Jason Mountolive.    He invites them back to his mansion for tea and pledges to have the motorcycle fixed, but as you may have guessed, this is where the strange goings-on begin.  Other guests arrive at Mountolive's impressive home and this unique gathering is equally notable--it seems that some of the most powerful people in the world have journeyed here for a strange reunion of sorts.  Wait, just where did that curious Mountolive fellow go?  And what's up with that bizarre figure in that strange chamber that looks like something out of a hospital ward?  Also: the creepy cat and the creepier nurse--what are they up to?  Is that Roger Daltrey playing a rock star?  How do Ross and Elliot fit into the strange saga that is unfolding at this remote estate?  How long before these strange people and their cryptic behavior piss Sam Elliot off?  The Legacy is certainly an odd picture, and it succeeds at raising a lot of interesting questions.  Unfortunately, it is isn't as good at presenting compelling answers to those questions.  There is a sinister vibe that keeps the viewer on edge and the talent involved does a great job of bringing these intriguing characters to life.  Unfortunately, the kills are rather lackluster, most of the effects work is pretty weak, and the ending is a bit muddled.  Thus, a picture with a solid premise and the necessary players to produce a real winner emerges as a pedestrian horror film that does manage to create an ominous mood and deliver a  few decent scares.

Final Grade: C

Sam Elliot gets wounded (and pissed off) in The Legacy

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