A Howling in the Woods (1971)

Welcome to Stainesville, Nevada! It’s a small town where everyone knows everyone else and more importantly, everyone knows everyone else’s dirty little secrets and spends most of their time shooting glowering looks back and forth and testily advising one another not to talk to that no good outsider from New York who is staying at her family’s lodge. (Don’t be so defensive guys! She’s just there to establish residency so she can get a quickie divorce, not bust up your evil coven, secret sex cult or college sports betting ring!)
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One of My Wives Is Missing (1976)

Is Daniel Corbin going crazy? A few days into his honeymoon, he reports his wife missing, but when she reappears accompanied by the friendly neighborhood priest, he claims he’s never met her before in his life!

But why does she know everything about him? And why does no one else remember the person who he thought was really his wife? And is he really seeing that head shrinker back in Detroit because of how crazy he is? And isn’t the real proof of his insanity that he continues to insist that the person husky-voiced Elizabeth Ashley is playing is not his wife even after seeing her in a succession of clingy, low cut nightgowns? I mean, unless his original wife was Farrah Fawcett, this has to be a total upgrade! Continue reading “One of My Wives Is Missing (1976)”

Honeymoon with a Stranger (1969)

I get that Janet Leigh’s Sandra Latham was an attractive platinum blonde prone to wearing short tight dresses and high heels. I also understand that she appeared to need help with a difficult situation and required a sympathetic ear to bend with her troubles. For a lonely, middle-aged man, there’s really almost no defense to all of that. But when she starts talking about how her daddy used to lock her in a closet and wouldn’t let her out, you’ve got to at least consider pumping the humping brakes! Especially when she’s in the middle of a missing husband mystery! And you are the police captain investigating it! Continue reading “Honeymoon with a Stranger (1969)”

Murder on Flight 502 (1975)

Like any air disaster, Murder on Flight 502 begins in unassuming fashion, routinely assembling its diverse group of passengers, each with their own secret, but most importantly, each a familiar face due to they being aging movie legends, has-been TV stars or from being Robert Stack. Then without warning, it freaking explodes all over you, its 1970s debris of orange upholstery, hideous striped stewardess blouses and Sonny Bono raining down on you like bad movie mana from heaven! Continue reading “Murder on Flight 502 (1975)”

The Kirlian Witness (1979)

The plants are watching us! And thinking! And solving crimes! How awesome is all that?

After going through my whole life under the impression that our leafy neighbors were just waiting to shove a prickly root up my backside (I was no doubt influenced by anti-plant polemics like The Day of the Triffids and Contamination .7), I was relieved that with 1979’s The Kirlian Witness they could finally take their place along side their fellow classic 1970s detectives like Jim Rockford and Barnaby Jones! How could you not love a rhododendron in a Sherlock Holmes deerstalker cap yelling the plant equivalent of “Book’em Danno!”? Continue reading “The Kirlian Witness (1979)”

No Place to Hide (1981)

Contrary to everyone else in her life, I didn’t think that wealthy art student Amy Manning was crazy when she claimed that a man in black hid in her car or stalked her through the halls of her school while, saying “soon, Amy soon.” I also didn’t believe she was delusional when the flower shop delivered a black wreath with “RIP” attached to it to her.

What made it clear that she was unbalanced, though suspiciously no one ever commented on it, was that despite her belief she was being stalked by someone never seen by anyone else, she insisted on putting herself in situations where she was all alone at various locations. Under the circumstances, would a rational person stay late at her art class so that she was the last person in the whole school in the middle of the night? (Except for the black clad maniac chasing her through the deserted hallways of course.) Continue reading “No Place to Hide (1981)”

The Victim (1972)

Taking the plot of every episode of Dateline NBC, but draining all the mystery and tension from it with its painfully bland story and gussied up with a literal “dark and stormy night”, The Victim (or Out of Contention as it is even more absurdly called on the print I saw) is highlighted mostly by Elizabeth Montgomery and her lustrously awesome¬† blonde hair (at least until she gets drenched in the non-stop rainstorm) running back and forth between various rooms in her sister’s house chasing sounds and shouting some variation of “who’s there!” Continue reading “The Victim (1972)”