Last Bride of Salem (1974)

Episode of “The ABC Afternoon Playbreak”
Article 2391 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-13-2007
Posting Date: 2-28-2008
Directed by Tom Donovan
Featuring Bradford Dillman, Lois Nettleton, Joni Beck

A family moves to Salem Village and hears an eerie tale about witches that sacrifice the descendants of an enemy to gain immortality. The wife of the family begins to suspect that they may be targeted for sacrifice.

On the plus side, the story manages to muster up a bit of atmosphere, and it manages to keep from going on too long. On the minus side, the story is quite predictable, right down to the final twist. I also don’t care for Lois Nettleton’s performance as the wife; though she’s a decent actress in general, she’s too perky and given to florid hand gestures which tend to distract from the reality of the moment. On the trivia side, the fact that some of the characters are named Whately makes me hearken back to Lovecraft’s “The Dunwich Horror”, and the movie features an early role by John Candy, though he really isn’t given anything more to do than to fill in the tableau. On the personal side, my copy is rather muddy-looking, and this further takes away from my viewing enjoyment. To me, it adds up to a mixed bag.


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