Thursday, October 24, 2013
A pretty blond woman who says her name is Miriam Webster offers a bellhop $2000 if he will marry her proclaiming that the marriage would be annulled right after. He can’t resist the lure of the cash so he agrees. They wake a justice of the peace late at night and pay him handsomely to perform the wedding. In the midst of the ceremony “Miriam” goes all psycho and stabs the justice leaving him for dead, she flees as his wife and the bellhop try to stop the bleeding. Upon her arrival at home we discover she lied about her identity and is actually named Emily, the caregiver for an old wheelchair bound woman named Helga who is unable to speak, she just taps and groans. The actual Miriam shows up on the scene shortly after, she is the half sister of Emily’s employer Warren who is about to come into a huge sum of money. It becomes apparent that Emily is looking to cozy up to Warren to get a piece of the pie but things are not always as clear as they appear to be.
What a fun little thriller this turned out to be, it came as the second feature tag teamed with Strait-Jacket. Pretty graphic gore wise for a 1961 B film, I was impressed. It’s a nice pairing of films too, both have murderous females and both have a nice twist at the end as well. This film was released on the heals of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho looking to draw in the same crowd. Director William Castle’s gimmick was to give the pretense that the film’s climax was so shocking that he needed to insert a “fright break” which was an image of a clock counting down giving cowardly movie goers a chance to leave and get a refund rather than stick it out to the end. I can envision some delicate females doing just that while their strapping young boyfriends stuck it out to the end to prove their courageousness.