Visions of Evil (1975)

aka So Sad About Gloria
Article 3201 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 2-22-2010
Posting Date: 5-20-2010
Directed by Harry Thomason
Featuring Lori Saunders, Dean Jagger, Robert Ginnaven
Country: USA
What it is: Disturbed woman in a scary house movie

An heiress is released from a mental hospital and tries to rebuild her life. She meets a man and marries him, despite her uncle’s misgivings. They move into a house that was the setting of an axe murder. Soon she’s hearing sounds and having strange visions…

For what it’s worth, this movie manages to take a storyline that usually annoys the hell out of me and keeps it from bothering me, which is something of an accomplishment. Nevertheless, the movie has a whole other set of problems. The dialogue is clumsy, often belaboring cliches, tossing in odd literary references (to Tolkien and Shakespeare, for instance), or breaking into a semi-poetic mode that just sounds odd. The pace is painfully slow at times; though the axe murder scene during the first twenty minutes is bit on the gratuitous side, it may be the only thing during the first hour of the movie that will make you stick with it till the end. One big problem is that director Harry Thomason has too much of an affection for the romantic montage, a problem that afflicted the previous movie I’ve seen of his, ENCOUNTER WITH THE UNKNOWN. Dean Jagger is also saddled with a character who ultimately becomes unworkable; you won’t buy his last scene. Still, when it works, it works, and the woman’s recurring dream about a man trying to open a crate with an axe at a railway station actually does come to an interesting conclusion. Still, once the movie shows its hand, you’ll probably be able to anticipate its very final twist.

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