Thursday, November 7, 2013

'70s Class: The Legacy

It's hard being a film that nobody loves you...or even remembers you.  Today's film is The Legacy, a movie that is oddly-obscure.  Granted- there were a lot of movies made in the 1970s.  Even so, I'm kind of surprised that this film full of Character Actors and Starring two Stars (Sam Elliot and Katharine Ross) is not more notable.  Well, let's see if we can find out why.  The film is about two Americans hired for a mysterious job over in England.  They end up at a fancy Estate run by a mysterious rich person.  They are joined by a cadre of other rich people that all have a strange connection to the host.  What are their intentions?  What is the titular 'legacy' and how does it relate to our heroes?  To find out, read on...
The couple- Elliot and Ross- get hired for a job in England.  I immediately give the film points for having Elliot's fiancee super-suspicious.

He eventually goes along for the ride, but that's possibly the first time I've seen a normal reaction in a film like this.  Kudos!
The story goes right from the title screen, jarring you with a bike wreck involving our leads.  They get taken to a palatial estate and get over the whole thing quite easily.

To be fair, it is a really nice house.
The other guests arrive.  Among the group is Charles 'Blofeld' Gray, two Space: 1999 Actors and...
Roger F'N Daltrey of The Who!  It's good to see that you did stuff that was better than Vampirella.
The group gathers to see the man of the house.  He's very sick- despite looking normal earlier- and holds sway over the six people, who are all major players.  One is a Music Producer (the biggest in Europe), another is a Banker and so on.

They also wear matching rings, which are sure to play a part later.
Our heroes get freaked out by the whole thing and stage a daring escape.  It takes a couple stops- to add some tension- but they manage to drive away safely.

However, it's not over.  They somehow keep driving back to the house, no matter which road they take.  Eerie.
Resigned to staying now, the pair are a bit put-off as they simultaneously learn some freaky stuff about the people (involving a Satanic pact of some sort) and the fact that the people start to die/disappear.

One of them is killed by an exploding mirror, another is killed by rifle back-fire and 'Blofeld' is killed by a burst of flames from the fireplace.
Our heroine is here because she has been chosen to be the one to inherit the man's power.  Will she give in to evil in exchange for power?
Yeah, pretty much.

Elliot goes along with it, so I guess it's good.  The End.
It's not great, but it's far from bad.  The biggest fault of The Legacy: the film has been done many times.  That's not to say that the film is entirely-unoriginal and derivative.  At its heart, the film is not the most unique story.  The setting, basic story and tone is one that I've seen before.  I've even reviewed that film- Satan's Slave.  It's not 100% the same, but the point remains the same.  With all of that out of the way, it's a well-made film.  The pacing is slow, but steady.  The atmosphere is well-done.  The Acting is good.  There's not alot bad to really say about the film.  While it's not a completely-unique film (which Elliot apparently thought too, according to IMDB), it is a great example of that kind of film.  The bottom line: check this movie out.  It may not blow you away, but it's a solid example of the kind of films that we don't see anymore.  I'll leave you with a shot of this cat (which was apparently important enough to be on all of the box art)...
Up next, a Direct-to-Video film that really wants to be a bigger film than it is.  Bad effects, Writing and Production- I'm there!  Stay tuned...

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