Tuesday, October 09, 2012


This is one of those cases where I ran across a movie on cable I'd never heard of, DVR'd it, didn't have high hopes for it and almost erased it, but ultimately watched it and enjoyed it quite a bit. Hooray for serendipity! For years, there has been bad blood between the Whitlocks and the Laniers. Now, the Laniers are digging up the old Whitlock family graveyard for a construction project. Lon Chaney Jr., the somewhat dissipated and maybe squirrely patriarch of the Whitlock family, leads a protest against the desecration of the graveyard, but Lanier's partner goes ahead with the bulldozing. Lanier (Jack Hedley) is sympathetic but can't undo what his partner did.  It turns out that Chaney is the head of a devil-worshiping cult, and the bulldozing allows a 17th-century Whitlock witch (Yvette Rees), who was buried alive by the Laniers, to return to life. Lanier's partner dies via voodoo doll, in his bathtub, and an aunt and grandmother are soon targeted by the Satanists. This is, of course, disturbing to Lanier and his wife, but even more so to the Lanier son, who, shades of Romeo & Juliet, is in love with a Whitlock niece. Though the plot is predictable and the production hampered by a low-end budget, there are some creepy scenes throughout, mostly involving the witch popping up unexpectedly. Chaney is good, as he was in SPIDER BABY--he seemed to actually get better as he got older and, well, uglier. No masterpiece, but worth a shot on an October night. Photograph courtesy <www.moviescreenshots.blogspot.com> [FMC; also on DVD]

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