|release date||January 13 1965|
|studio||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|writer||John Kneubuhl, Henry Slesar|
|starring||Connie Stevens, Dean Jones, Cesar Romero, Parley Baer|
|tagline||Two on a Guillotine - or 7 nights in a house of terror - or the unkindest cut of all.|
SynopsisA prologue introduces the audience to John Harley Duquesne, a psychotic magician who accidentally beheads his wife Melinda with a guillotine during a performance. Twenty years later he dies, and his will requires his daughter Cassie (the mirror image of her mother) to spend seven nights in his apparently haunted mansion in order to inherit his estate. Reporter Val Henderson offers to stay with her when he learns Duquesne promised to return in spirit form during Cassie's week-long vigil. As the days pass, the two encounter a number of spooky happenings, leading to a climax in which the not-really-dead Duquesne attempts a recreation of his guillotine trick, this time with his daughter as an unwilling assistant who hopefully won't lose her head.
I imagine Psycho was a hard act for other directors to follow. Released in 1960, it still stands as an example of the perfect horror film––a singularity of artistic vision expressed with supreme confidence––so perfect that many horror “shockers” of the 60s look like clunkers in comparison. Indie director H.G. Lewis spent the 60s trying to “out-shock” Hitchcock with fakey gore grinders like Two Thousand Maniacs! and Blood Feast, while most of the major studios continued to release the same harmless horror grub they’d been churning out since the war ended. Case in point: 1965‘s Two on a Guillotine, a hard-to-find Warner Brothers film finally getting a DVD release via Warner Archives. …Read More