Thursday, October 04, 2007

Beast in the Cellar

(1970) *1/2

Or as I like to call it “Beast in the Smeller”.

Someone or something attacks a local officer. We don’t know what because the crime scene is shot from the point of view of the attacker so all we can see is a scared man screaming and flailing. The authorities are puzzled by the gashes and claw marks.

For the next 15 minutes, we get to know Emilie and Joyce, two elderly British sisters who reside in a large house on the outskirts of town. They enjoy gossip and tea. Joyce is the taller and meaner of the two. Emilie seems sweet on the surface but tends to avoid reality. As Joyce puts it “everything in the past is like a rainbow to you.” At this point it's more than clear that the beast resides in their cellar, the only question is why. Alan the courteous police officer shows up to inform the women of recent events.

The next thing I remember is Lauren waking me up on the couch. “Are you sleeping?? It’s only 7:20!?!” Apparently there is something about those washed out colors, glacially paced stories and elderly British voices. When combined, they have the effect of a horse tranquilizer. I cracked a Red Bull, splashed some water on my face and dove back in.

The town is shocked by another “budget” attack. Alan visits again only this time tea is served. Emilie’s conscience slowly, slowly, very slowly eats away at her and she eventually comes clean. And she throws in her life’s story at no extra charge! After learning about Mother, boarding school and her father’s letters from 1933, it turns out that the beast is actually… oh ho! You'd like that wouldn't you?

Beast in the Cellar spends a lot of time developing the sisters.

I feel that this time would have been better served focusing on anyone but the sisters. The beast perhaps? When the big reveal unfolds, I realized that they weren’t hiding the beast’s appearance for dramatic purposes, it was more out of sheer embarrassment. And without further ado, heeeeeeeeere’s brother Stephen!


JPX said...

Oh God I have tears in my eyes. Where the hell are you finding these movies?

DCD said...

"Beast in the Smeller!"

I am totally LMAO on this one.

Octopunk said...

Yeah, that one's tickled me each time I've scrolled past it.