Murder Mansion

September 4, 2016 at 9:48 pm (4 Heads, Murder Mansion) (, , , , )

Murder Mansion – 1972 – Spain/Italy

A disparate group of people (including a biker, a hitchhiker, a lawyer, a socialite, and a womanizer) get lost in a foggy mountain valley. They arrive at an abandoned mansion next to a graveyard and decide to stay the night while the fog clears. Some of the people know each other and appear to be involved in a criminal business. The various characters bicker and have sex. Local legends suggest vampires once lived in the mansion, and before long, a creepy old woman and her disfigured chauffeur appear and begin killing people. In actuality, the old woman and the chauffeur are two of the stranded travelers in disguise. Their plot is to drive the others insane with fear to prevent some kind of business deal. Maybe. The plot is a little unclear.

Murder Mansion’s premise recalls the Old Dark House genre in which a group of people are isolated in a mansion with supernatural forces (that usually turn out to be a hoax). Murder Mansion merges this creaky setup with the sexiness, gore, and mystery of an Italian giallo film. Forgoing a coherent plot, the film strives to create creepy ambiance. The mansion is in a misty wood, and has an attached graveyard and catacombs. Hanging on the walls are demonic paintings depicting a creature with a huge mouth and a two-headed man. A robed man with a scythe walks in the fog. Whenever the creepy old woman appears, shrieking laughter is heard. There is also a floating severed head.

Unfortunately, Murder Mansion’s confusing plot overshadows its other merits. Characters appear to die, but are actually alive. Other characters pretend to leave the mansion, but sneak back in. In the film’s finale, a crazy young woman accidentally shoots her husband, hallucinating that he is her philandering father. After all of the other bewildering twists, even this violent climax is not especially interesting.

Rating: 4/10 Shrunken Heads. I really want the Old Dark House scenario to happen to me sometime.

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