Picture Mommy Dead (1966)

PICTURE MOMMY DEAD (1966)
Article #1034 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-13-2004
Posting Date: 6-11-2004
Directed by Bert I. Gordon
Featuring Don Ameche, Martha Hyer, Zsa Zsa Gabor

A young girl is taken out of a convent and returned to her ancestral home where her mother died a horrible death years ago. She begins to have strange nightmares.

You know, the basic story of this movie is pretty good, and I will admit to having been caught off guard by the somewhat shocking ending; this is a fairly sick movie in its way. In fact, I would go so far as to say that I think this one of Gordon’s better stabs at the horror genre (though I prefer his science fiction). Unfortunately, it does have some major problems. The dialogue is very bad at times, with its tendency to be trite, cliched, melodramatic and hokey. Furthermore, a great deal of the movie consists of an endless parade of two-person scenes that get quite tiresome one after the other, especially as very little creativity is used in the way these scenes are staged. Some of the scares are more silly than scary, and it does include one of the clumsiest murder weapons I’ve ever seen in a horror movie. It does have Don Ameche, Zsa Zsa Gabor, a young Susan Gordon, and an old Wendell Corey, who would probably have given the best performance if I’d been able to understand a word he said.

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