Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Haunts, Pretty Swedish Dame in Much Peril

The sultry May Britt was a terrific actress from Sweden. She may best be known as a sultry femme fatale in several films...and also her second husband was Sammy Davis, Jr. No matter, in today's feature, 1976's "Haunts," Ms. Britt was over 40 years old when it was released. This is an awkward and uncomfortable film that seems very slow moving. Don't be fooled. Once you figure out what is happening, or what has happened, you will understand the appeal. Perhaps this film is a Giallo film that just happens to have been made in America.
The nubile blonde, Ingrid (Britt), awkwardly lives in a rural California town. She lives with her Uncle Carl (Cameron Mitchell) and helps out on his farm. She tends goats, goes to the butcher shop, and fends off rapists...ah the perils of being a babe in rural America. Unfortunately for Ingrid, every male in the town wants to rape her or jump  in the shower with her. More bad news, a murderer with a scissors is raping and taking apart the town's nubile females...and Ingrid believes she's next. More bad news, Ingrid has reason to believe her Uncle Carl is the evil culprit.
Experienced horror fans will quickly pick up on the fact that not everything is as it seems. The sheriff (Aldo Ray) seems to take an interest on our Swedish beauty. Does he also want to rape her? Even Uncle Carl may have an interest in his niece that isn't entirely wholesome. Uh oh...a backstory! We are let in on Ingrid's history in a painfully slow manner, but from what we see...well...Ingrid may not be a totally well-adjusted babe in peril. As the killer gets closer to making his move on Ingrid, and as she keeps taking showers which are interrupted by aroused men, we begin to see that a lot more is going on here...other than a psycho rapist/killer tearing up the town.
Will Ingrid survive the wrath of a very hormonal scissor-wielding killer? Are Uncle Carl or the sheriff to be trusted with Ingrid's well-being or purity? Is there a man in the entire state of California that isn't interested in jumping in the shower with Ingrid to ravage her? Plot twists will abound and a very uncomfortable final 30 minutes will reward you for sitting through the first 60 minutes of "Haunts" (directed by Herb Freed). At very least, even if this film is not your pleasure, May Britt's alluring performance may float your boat anyway.


  1. WOnderful review, i always suspected Californians were not quite right, a must see, just for seeing May Britt

  2. Great review mate & props on the 60 minutes comment completely agree & because of this, this one didn't work for me overall. I mean to revisit as over the years I've come to appreciate atmosphere/tone to go with my love for good old fashioned exploitation, but I remember finding it a bit of a chore to sit through at the time. Very nice review again Christopher for a film that overall I found a bit of an oddity.