Friday, October 21, 2022

The Bride (1973)

          Passable only because it avoids some of the uglier excesses common to low-budget ’70s horror, The Bride boasts a clumsily effective first act, a painfully aimless middle stretch, and a conclusion predicated on an iffy twist ending. In other words, the movie might hook you before it bores you and eventually either amuses or annoys you. With that warning to the consumer out of the way, here are the particulars. Directed and co-written by Jean-Marie Pélissié, who never made another movie, The Bride concerns Barbara (Robin Strasser), a wealthy young woman dating David (Arthur Roberts), a cocksure dude who works for her father’s company. One day, Barbara confounds David by revealing that she commissioned the design and construction of a modern-architecture house in which she hopes to spend years of wedded bliss with David. Yet on their wedding day, David slips away from the reception for a tryst with his mistress. Upon discovering the infidelity, Barbara attacks David with a pair of scissors. And that’s when The Bride drifts off-track. What ensues is a poorly executed psychodrama during which David and his mistress get tormented by someone who may or may not be Barbara.
          Whereas many low-budget horror filmmakers realize the trick to circumventing anemic production values is to shoot most scenes outdoors and/or at night, the storyline of The Bride requires the majority of scenes to happen indoors, which accentuates the cheap quality of the camerawork and sets. Even worse, the storyline requires lots of scenes featuring just one actor (the person being tormented at any given moment), and the players in The Bride lack the magnetism needed to hold viewers’ attention. Not helping matters is the script’s reliance on repetitive moments and overextended wannabe suspense beats. Need it be mentioned that the filmmakers succumb to desperation by inserting a protracted dream sequence? The middle of the picture is rough going, and it’s not as if the beginning and end are strong. Nonetheless, the core of this piece offers something akin to a feminist statement (until that statement gets undercut by the twist ending), and some credit is due for the filmmakers’ restraint in terms of sex and gore. Anyway, someone felt this movie had exploitable elements because it was re-released under at least two alternate titles: The House That Cried Murder and Last House on Massacre Street.

The Bride: FUNKY