Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Gets 4 stars because of players, director, and relative obsc
johnnybeyond | Suwon, South Korea | 03/14/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this film once on ABC over 30 years ago, before VCRs or DVDs were available... and I've wanted another viewing ever since. It holds up quite well with the other Curtis Harrington and Robert Aldrich CHARACTER/QUESTION horror films that featured a characters name, and often a question, in the title, specifically, WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?; HUSH,HUSH SWEET CHARLOTTE; WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH HELEN?; WHOEVER SLEW AUNTIE ROO?; and my favorite, WHAT HAPPENED TO AUNT ALICE?. Many of these were based on novels by Henry Farrell. This one holds up pretty well because of Anthony Perkins, Julie Harris, Joan Hackett and Kent Smith... 4 very recognizable and talented performers. Smith's career goes all the way back to the Lewton/Wise CAT PEOPLE pictures; Joan Hackett cut a wide swath through Sixties and Seventies movies before cancer cut her down; and Harris and Perkins are well remembered for many great films, although PSYCHO forever trapped Perkins as an emotionally impaired victim/predator. The budget is strictly "movie of the week," and the plot here is so thin that the few red herrings are VERY transparent and the villain is VERY easily spotted. The main attractions are the performances and the persistant sense of dread that characterizes all Curtis Harrington movies. If you want to see good performers in one that slipped past you the first time, this one is a fairly good bet."
HOW AWFUL ABOUT THIS TRANSFER
Michael Butts | Martinsburg, WV USA | 04/28/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This review is of the notrious Madacy version. Madacy has been known over the years to release extremely poor copies of movies that almost look like they were taped from a VHS. The colors are grainy, the sound is muted, and the overall enjoyment is hampered. For instance, in this version, a key scene at the end is overpowered by the musical score so we don't really know what the character was saying. As for the movie itself, one can only respect Anthony Perkins, Julie Harris and Joan Hackett for rising above their lame material. Scripted by Henry Farrell and directed by Curtis Harrington, HOW AWFUL ABOUT ALLAN is an Aaron Spelling television movie made in 1970. As typical of that time frame, the movie is slow and tries to build suspense with endless shots of Perkins' view of the world through his psychologically blinded eyes. After his release from a mental hospital following the burning death of his father, Perkins returns home to live with his scarred sister Harris, whose face was disfigured when she tried to rescue her father. Harris' relationship with the father is veiled with suggestive innuendo and an unnatural desire to please "this great man." Hackett is the neighbor Olive who obviously has her own desires for Perkins, and why we don't ever really know. He's obviously Norman Bates-ish, and what woman in her right mind would want to spend her life with him. Anyway, the movie plods along with the chance that Perkins is seeing and hearng things, a mysterious roomer who never shows up, an old boyfriend of Harris' who does show up, and an ending whose ambiguity is frustrating.
Not a total dud; it's always nice to see the three stars work, but it's not that suspenseful and the transfer is criminal."
Anthony plays a psycho again
Beth | Mesa, AZ United States | 02/27/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"After burning down his house, Anthony Perkins spends some time in a mental instiution. (Deja vu? This same scenario was used in his 1968 movie Pretty Poison.) His sister Julie Harris takes him in reluctantly. Her father died in the fire and the two had an unusual relationship. Pretty soon Anthony is starting to go mad again. Or is someone just playing with him? For a tv movie this is pretty good. Anthony Perkins and Julie Harris both give nice laid back performances. Running time says 90 but actually it's 70 minutes. 2.5 rounded to 3"
Rough in spots, but more often than not delivers the goods.
movie nut | ohio | 12/13/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Anthony Perkins portrays Allan Colleigh, a young man who's psychosomatically blinded by the gruesome sight of his father burning to death in the family house. After spending eight months in a mental institution, Allan returns home to live with his sister Katherine and a mysterious new lodger. Tormented by beckoning midnight voices and sinister hands reaching for him in the shadows, Allan becomes convinced that the lodger wants to do him harm, but Katherine has a difficult time believing her brother's rantings. Is our hero really being menaced, or is he only the victim of his own imagination?
This vintage Curtis Harrington shocker draws inspiration from PSYCHO, WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?, and HUSH HUSH SWEET CHARLOTTE in equal measure. The result is simply too derivative to be considered a classic, but its blend of campy thrills and surreal shocks make it a lot of fun. The teleplay by Henry Farrell (author of the BABY JANE novel and co-screenwriter of CHARLOTTE) hinges upon a "surprise" ending that most modern viewers won't find too hard to guess, but his story line offers just enough plot contortions and snappy dialogue to keep things at an entertaining level.
The film is primarily a vehicle for Anthony Perkins, who has a grand old time portraying the harried title character. Allan Colleigh isn't quite as off-the-wall as Norman Bates, but Perkins manages to make him a fairly interesting horror figure nevertheless. Even though it's mostly Anthony's show, that of course doesn't prevent Julie Harris from providing rock solid support as his sibling. The finale gives Harris an opportunity to gnaw at the scenery herself and she does so with tremendous relish; it's a brief moment that you won't easily forget. Joan Hackett, a fine talent who never quite received the recognition that she should have, makes a welcome appearance as their concerned neighbor. The picture also benefits from vigorious direction by Curtis Harrington, who uses the limited number of locations to create a claustrophobic atmosphere that smothers the audience with dread."