DEATH AT LOVE HOUSE (1976)
Article 3337 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-17-2010
Posting Date: 10-3-2010
Directed by E.W. Swackhamer
Featuring Robert Wagner, Kate Jackson, Sylvia Sidney
What it is: TV-movie ghost story
A writer and his pregnant wife move into the mansion of a deceased Hollywood actress who had an affair with the writer’s father. Mysterious things begin happening. Could the actress be haunting the mansion?
There’s a couple of decent ideas in the basic story here, but a weak script, indifferent direction, and an overfamiliar approach to the story all conspire to make this one mediocre at best. I don’t know how often I’ve seen the basic scenario here; husband and wife move into new home, husband begins acting distant, detached and hostile, wife feels neglected, frightened and in danger of her life… really, you need something pretty striking to add to this mix to make this scenario compelling, and the movie never comes up with anything to do the trick. A few cameos from Joan Blondell, John Carradine and Dorothy Lamour add to the interest level a little, but the movie fails to follow up on some of its more interesting details, such as the stuffed cat that may keep reappearing as a living cat. In short, this is largely a tepid, uninspired TV-movie offering.