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, June 14, 2009

Black Room, The (1982)

Directed by:
Elly Kenner
Norman Thaddeus Vane

Very interesting low-budget American horror film; this is definitely worth a look for fans of the bizarre. Myster-ious, sexy siblings Jason (Stephen Knight) and Bridget (exotic-looking Cassandra Gava - as "Cassandra Gaviola" - who is best remembered for her small role in CONAN THE BARBARIAN) lure swingers to their Beverly Hills mansion; seducing victims with the prospect of kinky sexual games, they lead them into the title room and kill them. It turns out they both suffer from a rare genetic disease and need fresh blood to survive, which they obtain by hooking victims up to a machine with clear tubes that drain their victims dry. Thrown into the mix are Larry (Jimmy Stathis), a married everyman with kids, who rents a room off the deadly duo following the mysterious murder of its previous tenant, and his sweet, but a little too trustworthy wife Robin (the very appealing Clara Perryman), who starts snooping around the home when she suspects he's being unfaithful.
.
While not really 'great' in the traditional sense, this obscure and seldom-discussed film is still oddly engrossing. It's plenty bloody, darkly sexual, the four lead performances are all solid, there's a sick/perverse angle to the plot and the rough-around-the-edges production complete with dim lighting, seedy-looking sets and grainy photography add to the gritty, effective low-budget ambience. The ending may take you by surprise, but it's still a bit hard to swallow. Plus be on the lookout for small roles played by familiar character actor Christopher McDonald (THE FACULTY, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM) and famous Scream Queen Linnea Quigley (as a babysitter). It was filmed in 1981, but not released until 1984.

★★1/2

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