Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Dominique Is Dead (1978)

...aka: Avenging Spirit
...aka: Dominique

Directed by:
Michael Anderson

Dominique (Jean Simmons) is a rich, emotionally troubled middle-aged woman whose marriage to American stockbroker David (Cliff Robertson) is going so well that they sleep in separate bedrooms. And if that’s not bad enough, strange things begin happening in the house that make her believe the place is haunted. Naturally, no one believes her, she thinks she’s losing her mind and finally decides to just end it all by hanging herself, but insists her will not be read until after their wedding anniversary. In the meantime, David starts hearing footsteps, the piano plays itself, he’s haunted by visions of her ghost (key overkill blue backlighting), weird things happen to her gravestone and there’s a murder or two. Jenny Agutter (as the artist sister-in-law) and Simon Ward (as a chauffeur) also figure into the big plot surprise revealed at the very end. Edward and Valerie Abraham adapted this viewable, but still too leisurely, dull, cliched and slow-paced film from a Harold Lawlor story previously published in Kurt Singer’s collection “Ghost Omnibus.” Robertson basically just walks through his role and the rest of the above-average cast (Judy Geeson as a family friend, Ron Moody as a doctor, Flora Robson as a maid…) is wasted in bit and/or uninteresting roles. It was first released on tape in the US under the title AVENGING SPIRIT.

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