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[personal profile] innocent_man
Don't Look in the Basement!, also called The Forgotten, is a drive-in movie horror flick from 1973. Set at a sanitarium with far too little staff, it follows the patients of Dr. Stephens (Michael Harvey). He encourages them to act out their obsessions in some wibbly attempt to get them to confront them. This works out OK for some of them; Danny (Jessie Kirby) is just a walking trollface, and just wants to get up in everyone's business, but Judge (Gene Ross) starts off the movie whacking a log with an ax (under Dr. Stephen's direction), and then turns the ax on him while he's distract with another staff member (Jessie Lee Fulton) trying to resign.

So the next day, a new nurse (Rosie Holotik) shows up for work, and the only amazing thing is that she stays. The doors have no locks, the inmates have surprising access to sharp objects, and the first night she's there someone cuts out Old Mrs. Callingham's (Rhea MacAdams) tongue. All along, Sam (Bill McGhee), a large, sweet and childlike fellow, says he's been talking to Dr. Stephens and passes along messages.

The movie is gory and actually pretty creepy. It hasn't aged well effects-wise, but the final half hour where Nurse Charlotte (having learned that her supposed boss, Dr. Masters (Annabelle Weenick) is really an inmate and she's the only "sane" person here) finds the inmates truly going round the bend and indulging in their violent fantasies, is nicely atmospheric. The movie ends with Charlotte escaping and running, and Sam, having witnessed the others kill Dr. Masters, slaughtering all of them and then sitting down to a popsicle...and then weeping as he realizes what he's done. The end credits show everyone's picture, but they used the pictures of them dead and blooded, which, again, was a nice choice in establishing the "GAH" factor.

That said, it's not a movie I think I feel the need to watch again. I'm sure there are better examples of the genre.

My grade: C-
Rewatch Value: IINISAIFWT

Next up: Down with Love


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