Dear Dead Delilah (1972)

DEAR DEAD DELILAH (1972)
Article #778 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-2-2003
Posting Date: 9-29-2003
Directed by John Farris
Featuring Agnes Moorehead, Will Geer, Michael Ansara

People searching for lost money on a southern plantation are being stalked by an axe murderer. Could it be the matriarch’s new housekeeper, who was just released from prison for killing her mother with an axe thirty years ago?

This movie has one of those alliterative titles that makes it tempting to come up with a catchy alliterative three-word phrase to describe the movie, such as “dull dreary disappointment”, but that seems like a downright dreadful dismissal. Unfortunately, this lame axe murder movie lives up all too well to that description; it’s cheap, uninspired, flaccidly directed, and what very few interesting ideas it has are poorly handled. It was another of those movies that came in the wake of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE in which an older actress graces a horror movie with her presence; in this case, Agnes Moorehead, who seems to be on autopilot here (it would be her last movie). The best performance here is by Will Geer (Grandpa Walton; didn’t I just talk about Grandma the other day?), but I wouldn’t get too attached to his character, if you know what I mean. It was produced by Jack Clement, who also served as a musical producer for several country singers, and there is a faint country air to the movie (it was shot in Nashville), but not enough to really make a difference. Gore fans may get the most satisfaction here, as some of the deaths are on the bloody side, but even they will probably spend quite a bit of time at the fast forward button. This one is for axe murder completists only.

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