Friday, March 31, 2017

Delusion, Bloody Hi-jinx in the Mansion

Joseph Cotten is no stranger to this blog. In Baron Blood he played a centuries old fiend stalking the stunning Elke Sommer.  In Lady Frankenstein he portrayed a mad scientist with a nymphomaniac scientist daughter. Today, in 1981's "Delusion" (aka "The House Where Death Lives") he plays an invalid at the mercy of a psycho killer in his own home.
Pretty nurse, Meredith (Patricia Pearcy) takes a job at a mansion caring for Ivar Langrock (Joseph Cotten), an invalid.  During the first half hour, we are introduced to everyone living in the estate, and they all have homicide seeping out of their pores.  Phillip (Leon Charles) is the butler who is pilfering Ivar's wine collection.  Duffy (Alice Nunn), the cook/maid, who seems above suspicion.  Jeffrey (David Hayward), the handsome lawyer, who has eyes for Meredith.  Oh yes, the mysterious occupant in a locked room who everyone denies exists, etc.  As soon as Gabriel (John Dukakis), Ivar's grandson, is collected off a hippie commune and brought to the manor, the fun begins.
At first, the dog is murdered, then the people start assuming room temperature.  Gabriel appears insane, and he is the most likely suspect.  Only 16 years old, he is attracted to Meredith...uh oh!...Meredith desires sex with him too.  As more fall, and more of Meredith's sexual desires are revealed, we also add our pretty nurse to the list of suspects.  But wait, there's more!  Is Ivar really an invalid, and should we add him to the list as well?  The killer gets more bold, and the shocking reveal eventually comes.
"Delusion" is a drive-in version of a good Agatha Christie story.  Plenty of character development and suspects will keep you guessing.  Though Gabriel emerges as a prime suspect, is that too easy? Perhaps this 1981 horror film served as a bloody inspiration to the 1980s hit TV show "Dynasty," or serves as a minor drive-in offering in the last days of that genre.  Either way, this a good mystery with lots of murder and a sordid conclusion.

1 comment:

  1. Love it! Now I'm going to have to find it and watch it!