Thursday, December 19, 2019

Lanetli Kadinlar (1986)

... aka: Bloody Mansion Death
... aka: Bloody Mansion of Death
... aka: Cursed Women
... aka: Lanetli Kadınlar

Directed by:
Kadir Akgün

A bubbly model (Silver Türk) whose lingerie photo session is cut short by the mailman. A belly dancer (Ayla Tuncer) who can't stop gyrating long enough to read her mail. A scowling woman (Ayşin Soylu) who relates a flashback to weeping after banging an elderly man as she menacingly grabs a knife. A glamorous housewife (Hicran). An snooty actress (Hülya Konuk). A young thing (Figen Aydoğdu) best described as personality deficient. And an older lady (BRUTAL STORM star Nur İncegül) who looks like she just wandered off the set of Dynasty and spits a hocker on a photo of the same elderly man woman #3 was screwing. What do these women all have in common? I mean, aside from their affinity for massive shoulder pads and causing untold damage to the Ozone layer with their aerosol abuse? Well, they've just received what they think is good news: a letter from their lover, a wealthy banker, promising them all a big surprise.

One by one, the woman are transported by boat to an island mansion where we find out that some of them know each other, they all hate each other and they were all doing the same old guy. The eldest of the group was even his wife at one point. Unbeknownst to them, their geriatric sugar daddy has already been murdered and his body hidden behind some bushes near a school so he wasn't the one who actually invited them there. The ladies bicker, chain smoke, drink and even get into a couple of hair-pulling cat fights before changing into lingerie and lounging around in their silk robes and baby doll nighties. The model makes a pass at several of them while the others continue to act catty and argue, or just look bored out of their minds. Just like in the same director's GIRL'S CAMP (1987), where the actresses changed into new bikinis every other scene for no good reason, the actresses here also change into different undies from one scene to the next.

Rather conveniently, a TV news broadcast the gals just happen to be watching reveals that the banker has been murdered and then the lights go out. When they come back on, a threatening letter written in blood ("Hepiniz Oleceksiniz" / "You are all going to die!") is left behind. Seeing how the film is already halfway over at this point, my initial reaction was "OK! GET ON WITH IT ALREADY!" But it takes another ten minutes to get to the first murder, where the least attractive woman is found in bed with a knife in her back. The rest arm themselves with shovels and head outside. I initially thought they were going to try to leave or find a boat like most people would, but instead they look around for a minute, laugh and then go back inside and get back into their lingerie.

The killer then decides to hit these ladies where it really hurts: Putting poison in their precious liquor. One dies. And then another is choked out in her sleep. And then someone poisons another's dinner. And then someone is strangled with a neck tie. And then there's a shooting and a stabbing, but for a movie whose English language title is generally "Bloody Mansion of Death," these murders sure do lack, ya know, blood. Once a body turns up, the survivors merely drag it off into another room and cover it with a sheet then return to being idiots who keep wandering off by themselves and refuse to lock their bedroom doors.

Kind of cross between Ten Little Indians and one of those Slumber / Sorority Massacre movies... only not nearly as entertaining as that sounds. The writing, direction, editing and 16mm photography are terrible, the music is all stolen from other films, the overacting is hilarious and, despite the fact the female cast is scantily clad throughout, there's almost no nudity. The sole exception is a long sequence of the belly dancer showering, someone approaching her with a knife as Jaws music plays (!) and then it turning out to be the lezbo model sneaking into the shower with her. Since this movie fails to deliver on pretty much any front, even this scene goes nowhere.

As for the release year, I've seen it listed as 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1988 and 1990 on various websites. Based on the aesthetics, I'd say 1985 or 1986 is the correct year of production. Aside from Turkey, this also made its way onto VHS in Greece and the two releases have some notable differences. For starters, the music scores are different. Secondly, the shower scene and the killer POV shot prowling around the mansion with a knife scene have been removed in their entirety from the Turkish print for some reason.

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