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Sunday, October 18, 2015

HubrisWeen 3, Day 13: Madhouse (1974)

Screenplay by Ken Levison and Greg Morrison, based on the novel Devilday by Angus Hall
Directed by Jim Clark

Vincent Price:  Paul Toombes
Peter Cushing:  Herbert Flay
Robert Quarry:  Oliver Quayle

It just isn't HubrisWeen without Vincent Price. When I first started sketching out the rules for what I wanted to do during this blogging gimmick / endurance test / ill-conceived plan, I decided that it should be a celebration of October-appropriate cinema. Sure, there's horror films like The Silence of the Lambs that are technical and artistic masterpieces, but I wanted to go with movies that were more like a harmless carnival ride than a genuine attempt to horrify an audience. Thus my previous S movies featured John Landis in a gorilla suit and the plot of Death Wish grafted to a supernatural voodoo story. And this time around it's a movie that celebrates the past of the genre with a cross-continental pairing of icons while coincidentally showing a glimpse of where things would be going in about a decade. It's fitting that this was Price's last movie with American-International Pictures as well as the last horror film from perennial second-tier English studio Amicus, and I hope he enjoyed the way it treats his past as a horror icon (up to and including using footage from other AIP movies as the films his character purportedly made in the film's back story).

The film starts "some time ago" at a New Year's Eve party where the assembled guests (100 or so people in formal wear) at the mansion of Paul Toombes are watching one of his horror movies. He's playing a character named Doctor Death (and the skull-face makeup for this character is amazing). The assembled guests applaud at the end of the film and the apparent death of the character--though Toombes says it's his fifth time appearing as the villain protagonist, so it seems likely that the character will return again. Looking at the premise from 2015, audiences obviously would be thinking of a character like Jason Voorhees or Freddy Krueger, but in 1974 there wouldn't be any precedents for a film series where a killer with a gimmick works his way through the cast and is defeated, only to appear again in the next movie in the series. (A tip of the hat to El Santo at 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting, who pointed this out in his own review of the film.) The party is at Toombes' mansion in Hollywood--in this film's universe, being a boogeyman pays extraordinarily well.

Toombes is also a courteous gentleman--he tells all his guests that he's grateful for the success that the Dr. Death movies have brought him, but that whatever success the films enjoy on an artistic level are solely because of his friend Herbert Flay, who has written the part for him to play so well, and given up an acting career that showed quite a bit of potential when he found that his writing talents were so lucrative. (Watching Flay try to downplay the compliments gave me a little bit of a shock the first time I saw this movie. I couldn't remember ever seeing Peter Cushing in modern-day clothing.) Price is a ham with his captive audience, preening and grinning as he promises a terrible fate in store for his recent costar, Ellen Mason--not immolation, skinning, or exsanguination, but matrimony. He's deeply in love and his fiancee is the object of hatred from Faye Flay (formerly Carstairs), one of the other guests. Apparently having wealth, health, happiness, success and love in Hollywood just brings out the anger and jealousy in some people (although one of the party guests, unseen by the camera, does wish Paul a wonderful marriage, and in all sincerity as far as I can tell). Faye seems to see Paul as the one who got away, and her name suggests that she wound up marrying a screenwriter instead of a movie star. So close to the glamorous life of Hollywood, and yet not quite there at all...

Oliver Quayle, one of the guests at the party (significantly, Toombes doesn't recognize him when they first meet) is hanging out with Faye and stops by to congratulate the lucky girl on landing an A-list horror star. Being a complete asshole, he also mentions that Ellen was a stripper and pornographic actress before going to Hollywood to become a scream queen. Toombes manages to convey the sentiment "go fuck yourself" into the sentence "Get out of here" while banishing Quayle from his get-together and then tells Ellen he'd like to see her films in private, since she's seen his. Quayle planted the seeds of doubt in Paul by mentioning that Ellen was a gold-digger and the marriage appears to be off minutes after the engagement was announced.

Ellen runs off upstairs in tears, and Paul follows moments after. You remember that this is supposed to be a horror movie, though, right? Well, someone puts on a pair of black gloves and pulls a stiletto out of the Dr. Death prop medical bag (I can remember saying "There's always room for giallo!" at this point watching the film at Monster-Rama a couple years back). Whoever it is stalking Ellen in the complete Dr. Death getup--though also in a full-face skull mask so we don't know who the murderer is--surprised Ellen with dagger drawn and then it's time for the opening credits. The credits show Price, in costume and makeup as Dr. Death, menacing a selection of screaming starlets while a bombastic Horror Score(tm) provides work for brass and flute players.

We return to the opening flashback after the credits, with the cheers and applause as midnight strikes apparently covering the noise of Ellen's final scream. Toombes wakes up from a brief fugue state or passed-out blank in his bed, with the Dr. Death gloves and a pocketwatch that Ellen bought him next to him. He makes his way to the next room over and makes his apology to his fiancee, who has her back turned to him at her makeup table. When he touches her shoulder, her head falls off and Price goes into a fit of screaming madness. The film fades to white, and when it returns several years have passed. Toombes is in a mental institution where the doctors and therapists ask him repeatedly if he killed Ellen Mason. He's been shot up with some kind of truth serum, so the movie wants you to believe him when he says he doesn't know. Apparently the legal system shrugs and issues a writ of "Sonat Legit Nobis", because Toombes is never prosecuted for the killing.

Flashback concluded, it's time to go to post-Swinging London in the film's present day (1974). Quayle has risen in the world while Toombes has been institutionalized; he has an office in a skyscraper that I'd probably recognize if I was English. He provides the audience (and Julia Wilson, a PR flack) with a quick recap of what happened to Paul Toombes--he was acquitted of Ellen Mason's murder, but nobody's willing to give him a job after his notoriety and breakdown. But his movies remain hugely popular on television (one wonders if the whiff of scandal around them has anything to do with their continued success), and apparently there's something brewing where Toombes will be coaxed back into his old profession. Quayle dispatches the public-relations woman to meet Toombes when his ship docks, and bring him to his office.

On board the ocean liner taking him to England, Toombes is enjoying a sleep when a young woman in a slinky dress creeps into his room. She introduces herself as Elizabeth Peters, and it soon becomes clear that she's stalking Toombes as a career move. She knows that the reclusive actor is going to the UK to make a television series and wants to know who they've got for the female lead. Toombes isn't actually involved in casting and also doesn't particularly care for the manufactured scandal that Ms. Peters tries to engender (she orders champagne to the room so that she can be seen by the steward, but Toombes isn't having any of it and sends the bottle back to the ship's wine cellar, then throws her out--but not before she swipes the pocket watch that Ellen Mason gave him). When the ship docks a group of tabloid photographers and reporters mob Toombes (and Elizabeth Peters is quick to take his arm so she can get some publicity), but the Julia Wilson from the BBC shoos them away. I was actually touched at how frail and confused Price looked in that scene; usually he's so commanding and I think he really did some nice, subtle work playing someone who wanted to avoid the limelight and found himself stuck in it again.

It turns out that Elizabeth Peters found out which car is supposed to take Toombes to Herbert Flay's house and got there first; Paul brushes her off as politely as he can and gets away from his first public appearance in years with dignity and patience barely intact. Flay's manor house in the countryside has seen better days, but his pleasure and Paul's are entirely unfeigned when they set eyes on each other for the first time in over a decade. If anyone else other than Herbert had asked him to take up the mantle of Dr. Death again, Paul would have shut them down instantly, but his friend needs the money badly and won't do the show without Paul Toombes. Paul, on the other hand, is worried that he might have actually snapped and killed his fiancee in a stress and rage-induced blackout and doesn't want to risk opening any triple-locked dungeon doors in his psyche, even to help a dear friend.

And I'm not sure whether or not to trust Flay when he says that he only said he needed money desperately to get Paul over to England--to hear Herbert tell it, he's found a lucrative career as an actor and has put screenwriting on the back burner for the time being. I'm positive that Flay's suggestion that reliving the past will be good for Toombes' mental health is a terrible idea. Paul, for his part, thinks that "Dr. Death" is the worst part of his psyche, an alternate personality that might have taken him over during his blackout years ago and done horrible, horrible things--and the shot where Toombes talks about this possibility has him looking into a multiple-image mirror, which is a pretty neat touch. Toombes has been sedated and institutionalized for a decade or so, and hasn't had a repeat of that episode (if it was indeed him that killed Ellen)--but who knows what's going to happen once he puts the costume and makeup on again?

Herbert turns out to have prints of every movie he and Paul made together (I'm pretty sure you need to take better care of them than just putting 'em in a cupboard, though) and he wants his friend to watch them so he can better get into character for the television series. Paul, as previously mentioned, does not want to do this at all. The decision gets forestalled when a woman calls Herbert's place (asking for "Dr. Death", not Paul Toombes) and hangs up after hearing the actor's unmistakable voice. Paul thought it was the PR flack from the studio, but I'm betting Elizabeth Peters is hot on his trail. The Dr. Death movie that Paul and Herbert watch has some kind of hypnosis scene in it with Basil Rathbone apparently trying to cure the murderer of his homicidal tendencies (one of the problems with repurposing old footage for the past films is that Price wasn't wearing the makeup and costume of his in-universe iconic role, so it's just Vincent Price on screen rather than Dr. Death).

Herbert wanders off while the movie is running and Paul closes his eyes as the hypnosis scene concludes, only to be awakened when the reel runs out and the projector starts doing that end-of-reel flapping sound. Price shows some panic and apprehension when he wakes up again, another glimpse of vulnerability from an actor who tended not to show any in his other roles. While poking around looking for Herbert, Paul gets a look at Elizabeth Peters wandering the grounds of the Flay estate. Interestingly enough, Flay used candles to light his screening room rather than electric lights--along with the ocean liner (instead of a jet) it gives the movie a sense of time out of joint, as if the decades were bleeding into each other. Of course, the real reason for that anachronistic choice is that Vincent Price looking at a candle flame is fascinating and awesome. I'm glad the filmmakers didn't go for "realism" at the expense of aesthetic value.

Once Paul blows out the candle, plunging the frame into darkness, there's another giallo-style shot of the killer putting on black gloves. Elizabeth Peters, wandering around the grounds and looking for a way into the Flay house, finds the front door to be unlocked and goes inside, calling for Paul. The requisite "statue looks like a person looking down menacingly" jump scare goes off, executed quite well, and Ms. Peters goes back outside as thunder rolls, following a cloaked and hatted figure on the grounds. The figure always seems to be just a little farther off from her in the distance than the viewer would expect. We see (but Elizabeth doesn't) that the figure was going to the garden shed to get a pitchfork, and that's that for Elizabeth Peters' part in the story. That full-face skull mask makes an appearance again so that we in the audience can play along and pretend that Toombes is potentially a killer rather than the victim in a gaslighting scheme. Although it's interesting that the target of that scheme is a man; in every variation on that plot I've ever seen, it's a woman who has something that her husband (or another male character) wants and putting Price in the feminine role is interesting. He gets to have troubled dreams during thunderstorms, wander around a dark house with a candelabra and wonder if he's going mad while his friends and his "friends" tell him there's nothing to worry about and plant seeds of doubt in his mind all the while. And, of course, someone's busy racking up a body count while framing Toombes for the crimes.

Flay House has a basement festooned with cobwebs (as basements in remote houses should have in movies like this). The creepy self-playing Victrola is a nice touch as well. And the ghoulishly pale spider-obsessed woman with horrible scars all over her head? She's part of the household as well--and it turns out that Paul knew her as Faye Carstairs, one of the costars in a Dr. Death picture. She was the catty griper at his New Year's Eve party at the very start of the narrative, but obviously took a turn for the worse at some point since then. She was one of several starlets hoping to land Paul Toombes as a husband back in the day; she settled for Herbert Flay but wound up horribly injured in a car accident caused by a romantic affair gone horrifically wrong. In keeping with the theme of buried dark secrets of the past, Herbert keeps her in the basement (or she volunteers to stay down there, I guess). She tends to be active at night, so Herbert was hoping that Paul wouldn't encounter her at all.

Right after we find out what happened to Faye, a kid fishing in the river by Flay House hooks the boat with Elizabeth Peters' body on it. The police, as you may well imagine, are quite interested in this and start questioning people. Her presence on the ocean liner (and in Toombes' cabin) does not escape their notice, but the questioning starts with the steward who let Elizabeth into the suite rather than with the hero of the film. "You can't prove it" is probably not the best choice of things to say under interrogation, so it looks like Toombes is in the clear at least for now. In fact, Toombes first hears about the murder on the radio rather than when a detective schedules an interview with him.

Later, at the production office for the "Dr. Death" series, Toombes and Flay meet with Oliver Quayle, the show runner. I think it's a really nice touch that the characters played by horror icons get cool resonant names like Toombes and Flay while the new guy (who did, to be fair, wind up in the two Count Yorga movies and Sugar Hill for AIP) gets named after a game bird. He's also a smarmy asshole, glad-handing Paul like he was born to it. Quayle apparently made so little impression on Toombes that the older man has to be reminded about the producer's presence at the New Year's Eve party that is otherwise seared into his memory. But soon enough Toombes does remember Quale as well as the other man's previous career path making smut films (Robert Quarry gets to deliver the priceless line "I don't make that cheap crap any more. I'm in television now!" in response). Toombes is disgusted that his friend would want to work with such a crass hack but it's the other way around--Quayle sought them out to make the show. Whatever else Paul Toombes is, he is a consummate professional and a trouper, so he knows deep in his heart that the show must go on. Even if that means working with Oliver Quayle.

Meanwhile, the police are investigating the Peters murder, and to that end a detective who looks like a genetic amalgam of the entire Monty Python troupe is screening The Legend of Dr. Death to see what he can find out (other than that it's a good movie, which is not the best use of Her Majesty's taxpayers' funds). There is a pitchfork murder in that film that presages the Peters killing, and Detective Terry Palin notes the coincidence. He doesn't jump to a possibly obvious conclusion, though; Toombes' past notwithstanding, he doesn't think the actor is deliberately copying murders from his own movies. Whether or not he's doing it unconsciously, though, is an open question. There's an entry in Toombes' psychiatric file that claims he might relapse into a murderous fugue state out of stress, and that the stress of trying to avoid that relapse could well bring it on. It wouldn't be a gaslight movie without dire portents of mental health, so I'm glad that's been mentioned. Detective Eric Chapman returns to his film studies program, with a token complaint from his chief to keep the volume down while the other detectives who don't get to watch Vincent Price Paul Toombes movies do their jobs as well.

On the set, things aren't going all that well for Paul. He likes the TV-budget version of the Dr. Death makeup, but other things aren't meeting with his approval. There's a reporter from the Daily News who wants a reaction quote about the Peters murder (this request is denied, of course) and Quayle's current girlfriend has been hired as Dr. Death's assistant in the show so that there's some jiggle appeal to go with the frequent violent murders that are the primary reason for an audience to tune in. Either Toombes was deliberately not learning about anything on set as a way to keep himself out of the Dr. Death mindset as much as possible or Quayle is playing some kind of asshole power politics in order to make his star feel as off-balance as possible. Which is of course how someone would treat an essential performer and potential homicidal psychopath, right?

The first scene with Dr. Death's assistant winds up pissing Toombes off--he might be condemned to play his iconic role for a hack and saddled with someone who can't stop smirking into the camera while showing off her cleavage but he's also a professional. He pitches a tempermental fit about the caliber of costar and Detective Graham Idle is there to see it happen on the set. Nothing happens immediately, but at a cast costume party (where you can catch Robert Quarry in his Count Yorga costume!) we learn that there's another conspiracy afoot. Quayle tells the assistant that the eventual plan for the series is to kill Dr. Death off and continue the adventures of his assistant (which prefigures the Saw film series, making this another plot point that kind of came true some time later). Of course, that might just as well be Hollywood-on-the-Thames bullshit meant to keep the girlfriend quiet.

The actress winds up badgering Paul about his attitude towards her, and then plays the "I bet the fiancee lots of people think you murdered wasn't that good an actress either" card. Toombes tells her to shut up, as one might expect, and catches the notice of everyone at the party--with reaction shots of Quayle and Flay included, of course. Quayle shows a clip of an old Dr. Death movie at the party next, with a sorcerous duel between Boris Karloff and Vincent Price while the actress who ticked Paul off wanders away to play pinball. Toombes is slightly overwhelmed by the screen violence and leaves the screening room, and yes, that means we get another "killer putting gloves on" scene and the skull-masked killer removes the assistant from the series as well as the film we're watching. Of course it's the public-relations woman who finds the hanging body. Toombes flees back home to Flay House to confess to Faye Flay that Dr. Death killed someone, and she tells him that fictional characters can't kill anyone.

Back at the party / crime scene, the one piece of physical evidence that Scotland Yard has in the case is a glove discarded by the killer. And the high-ranking detective (who takes command over Det. Eric Gilliam) makes sure to have everyone there try it on before fingerprints can be taken or any other analysis can be performed. I'm betting the reason Scotland Yard is always baffled by crimes in movies is that in the land of fiction, their detectives just aren't very good. The glove fits Quayle...well, like a glove...but he blames Toombes reflexively. Speaking of Toombes, he's taken the Dr. Death makeup off and is planning to leave Flay House (and quit the show while there's still a few people in the cast left alive). Herbert Flay returns home just in time to see Paul walk out the door, and tells his friend that he can't blame himself for the killings. About a step and a half out the front door, Paul is politely accosted by Detective John Gilliam and his supervisor, who would like to ask some questions of the actor down at Scotland Yard. Toombes agrees to go with them without a struggle, and to nobody's surprise in the audience, the glove fits him perfectly as well (if it was part of the Dr. Death costume from the show, it had better). But Toombes is smart enough to ask the detective to try it on as well, and it fits him exactly. Circumstantial evidence is circumstantial.

That doesn't serve him particularly well in the interrogation, though. And even though it makes a lot of sense, the alibi "if I wanted to kill people I wouldn't do it in the manner that draws the most attention to me" won't help much if the police think you might not be in conscious control of yourself when you're committing murders. Paul tells the detectives that he honestly can't tell if it's him performing the killings or not, and they don't have any right to keep him around. He leaves, and returns to Flay's house. As soon as he gets there, Elizabeth Peters' parents are there with Paul's stolen pocketwatch ready with a blackmail threat. I guess she inherited her grifting ways fair and square. They want ten thousand pounds for the watch, or they'll go to either the police (or, if they think of it and want to do something worse, the Daily Mail). They also tell Toombes that their daughter's murder meant that they wouldn't be able to use her as a pension plan when they got old and she got rich through acting and celebrity.

At the next day's filming, there's a death trap involving a bed with a descending canopy that's supposed to fatally crush Dr. Death; apparently the BBC and the English equivalent of OSHA have never been in the same room at the same time, because the plan is to just stop the mechanism before it kills Paul Toombes rather than build one that couldn't kill anybody. Before the inevitable can happen, Julia Wilson appears with a publicity request from a talk show that wants Toombes on that very night. Paul once again demonstrates that he's an absolute trouper and agrees to do the show because the Dr. Death production--which, remember, he never wanted to do in the first place--could use some good press right now.

"Good press"? BAD press. The director of the show, demonstrating how the gag is supposed to work, gets smashed to paste live on set (as it were). This time there's no ambiguity whatsoever about who was responsible; dozens of people were on set when they saw the accident. But it obviously is an accident--Toombes didn't know that the sequence was supposed to happen and nobody expected the director to be in the bed when the fatal accident occurred. The police question Paul but let him go (again) and the greedy blackmailing Peters parents are back at Flay house to torment Paul as he returns for a little solitude. When Paul shoves the father to the ground the grifter forgets the swiped pocket watch at the scene, which means they don't even have the means to threaten him any more, not that Paul realizes that.

The chief inspector, back at the set, goes over the malfunctioning prop and finds that it was rigged to kill whoever was lying down in it. Since nobody warned the murderer that the episode director would be testing out the mechanism, it seems obvious that Paul Toombes was supposed to be the victim this time, not the killer. Quayle says he couldn't be the killer because he needs Paul for the series, like him or not (SPOILER:  "not"). However, Quayle is callous enough to tell someone on set to get the prop bed cleaned up so they can use it for the next day's shooting (!) while he goes off to find another director (!!). There's a red-herring moment where Julia Wilson goes looking for something in Quayle's office and gets found by him, complete with organ sting on the soundtrack and ominous closeup on Robert Quarry's face. But nothing comes of it.

Back at Flay House, someone (who already lives there) is putting black gloves on again and picking up the discarded pocketwatch. The Peters parents wander into the house in pursuit of the cloaked figure. For blackmailers they're remarkably trusting, walking into a house where they could be arrested for trespassing. Or impaled on a broadsword--either one. After that happens, Julia calls Paul up to say she knows what's going on with all the killings and weirdness, and to meet her at his dressing room at the studio in thirty minutes. He leaves, because he wants to know what the heck is going on just as much as anyone, while Faye Flay cuddles a tarantula in the basement of Flay House and then goes upstairs in search of Toombes. That means she's the one who finds the blackmailers' bodies stuffed into a closet while Paul gets ready for the chat show interview he's supposed to be giving later that night.

A knock on the dressing room door lures Paul out to where the skull-masked killer sneaks up on him (it's a good thing for him that Toombes was checking how he looked in a full-length mirror when he was being stalked). The killer yanks a battle axe off the wall and attacks Toombes, who gets clamped to the prop bed with the press descending, but manages to escape. The killer pursues him as Toombes takes an express elevator to the studio basement. Toombes walks out into the audience of that chat show and is such a professional that he switches gears and does his interview without any further ado (complete with a clip from The Pit and the Pendulum, in black and white so it looks older than it actually was). The fuzz are in the control booth as they see Toombes is right there in front of everyone. Meanwhile, Julia Wilson is snooping around and gets a look at the contract for the show--if Toombes dies or winds up unable to perform (for one reason or another), the role automatically goes to [CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE]. Susan doesn't find out who that as because the skull-masked killer shows up and chases her into the elevator, where she is strangled right out of the movie.

Toombes is on the chat show giving a massively incriminating interview talking about horror movies (specifically, his own) and how they're all about letting impulses out into the world that everyone tries to keep buried. He flees the chat show when another clip from another old movie is shown, and the police are in hot pursuit. When Paul gets to his dressing room, Julia is there (with a stiletto through her neck) for him to find, which was meant to trigger a flashback to his first and worst breakdown. He pulls the dagger out of Julia's neck, which means he gets his fingerprints all over it. Even worse, he's carrying the poor woman's bloodstained body while the police are looking for him.

Toombes carries the body (which he refers to as "Ellen" into the soundstage where the murderer attacked him, and seals all the doors electronically to keep everyone out. While he's hanging onto his sanity by his fingernails, Paul gives a soliloquy about the creation of Dr. Death, the horrible part of his personality that will never go away and can't be controlled. Price turns the Ham Dial up to maybe six or seven in this sequence, which is as high as he goes for this movie but falls short of the maximum that he's gone for in other films. He decides that Dr. Death must himself die in order to protect anybody left in the world that is at risk from his dark side, and sets the set on fire (it must have been constructed out of solidified turpentine based on how quickly a single piece of burning paper makes everything go up in flames). Toombes grins all the while, exalting in the chance he has at playing his final scene. He pours a goblet of wine (that acts like kerosene) on himself and capers in the inferno.

And then the scene shifts to Herbert Flay signing the contract to play the new Dr. Death in Quayle's office, mouthing some platitudes about how he hopes to memorialize his friend in the role. Quayle hands him a roll of film that contained the final scene that Paul performed in the fiery set. Flay says he'll treasure it forever. When he watches the film at Flay House that night (dressed in the Dr. Death costume but minus the makeup), he sees his friend rant and rave and burn and die...and get up. Suddenly Paul Toombes is there in Flay's screening room, like a ghost from a Shakespeare play, demanding to know why his good friend wanted to kill people and frame him for the murders.

It all turns out to come down to money and vanity. Flay felt cheated for years that he created the Dr. Death character but someone else got to play him; after his confession, there's a sword-versus-candlestick fight that travels down from the main floor to the creepy, web-festooned basement. Just as it looks like Flay has the upper hand against the spectre of Paul Toombes, his wife stabs him in the back and he falls into her spider terrarium to be consumed.

And Toombes sits at a makeup table, putting on makeup appliances to make himself look like Herbert Flay again (I'm not sure how literal this sequence is supposed to be; Toombes appeared in front of the movie screen as if he teleported out of it and there's no scene of the police realizing who was responsible for the killings after all; it's a frustratingly oblique use of the supernatural that was completely at odds with the previous 99 percent of the film and doesn't explain why Toombes would want to conceal himself as Flay if he'd already secured a confession in front of a witness).

But before that it's a surprisingly elegiac look back at the movies that made Vincent Price an icon, and a view at the horror genre in a year that--thanks to Black Christmas and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre--was going to change things forever going forward. Endings are hard to stick, and maybe the source novel was the reason this one turns into a Dumpster fire in the last three or so minutes of film. Enjoy the first 95 percent or so of the film as much as you can, because the final twentieth or so is pretty rough.

Well, good grief. We're halfway through HubrisWeen. If you'd like to see what the other four participants in this blogaround picked for their film starting with M, click on that green and black banner up there.

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