Saturday, May 30, 2009

Don't Look in the Basement

Don't Look in the Basement (1973)
AKA: The Forgotten

[Hell No]

Set in a secluded nut house in Florida where they believe that the best way to cure the insane is to humour their insanity. When the presiding doctor (Michael Harvey) is accidentally killed by one of the patients and a new nurse (Rosie Holotik) shows up, bad things start happening. Sort of. First, the phone goes out (!), then... I dunno, I pretty much tuned out after that.

Nothing really happens until about seventy five minutes in and even then it's not that spectacular. Mr. Blue and I pretty much called the shocking twist in the first ten minutes. Turns out the replacement doctor (Anne MacAdams) is actually one of the patients who just thinks she is a doctor, and she's been killing everybody who threatens her deluded fantasy.

Oh dear, I've spoiled the ending. However, anyone who's seen, like, any other movies or read books would have seen it coming.

So there's that. There are also some serious logic problems in the movie - like how the fuck did this place get funded anyway? It's the most lax mental hospital in the world. Sure, if they were just treating, like, ex drug-addicts, mild cases of depression and lightly insane rich people, that would be fine, but some of the patients in the movie were clearly very dangerous, a fact they demonstrated by jumping out of closets with knives every twenty minutes or so.

And obviously the doctor's crazy scheme about humouring the mentally ill wasn't working very well. The patients pretty much got crazier by the minute. I mean, isn't there somebody who, like, checks up on this shit? Isn't it government regulated? Seriously.

Moving on, I'm pretty sure I missed the point of the movie entirely because I kept waiting for there to be some ominous doom lurking in the basement. There wasn't even much mention of the basement, I don't think. Every now and then popcicle guy (Bill McGhee) or the creepy old lady (Rhea MacAdams - who was actually the best part of the movie) would say something cryptic possibly referring to a basement, but nothing much came of it.

I think somewhere near the end they finally do go look in the basement and I guess the doctor's body was down there or something but since we already knew he had been killed by one of the inmates, it wasn't that impressive.

This is also one of those movies which tries to diguise itself by assuming many different titles (it's listed on IMDb as The Forgotten, however, the version I watched was titled Don't Look in the Basement), so, you know, that explains a bit I guess.

Um, yeah. On top of all that, the acting, script (sounded like a psychology textbook for morons), pacing (they spent, like, forty minutes introducing the characters, one at a time, with little to nothing else happening), music, editing, sound and picture quality were terrible so it's kind of a shitty movie all around. Although there is a pretty bloody axe murder at the end, but it's not really that satisfying. This movie was pretty much a total waste of time...


Directed by: S.F. Brownrigg. Written by: Tim Pope. Starring: Bill McGhee, Rosie Holotik, Anne MacAdams, Betty Chandler, Gene Ross, Rhea MacAdams, Robert Dracup, Harryette Warren, Jessie Kirby, Hugh Feagin, Camilla Carr, Jessie Lee Fulton, Michael Harvey.

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