Erin from Still Life, With Cracker Crumbs and I, are switching gears for September and October and instead of watching simple classic movies we are watching funny and quirky, or suspenseful Halloween-themed movies. Erin, who is a fan of horror films, was gracious enough to not try to talk me into any gory horror films, since I am not a horror film fan at all.
Instead of each watching a movie we choose for each other, we are both watching the same movie and each giving our impression of it.
I have never seen most of the movies we are watching, including our first movie, Clue, a dark comedy cult classic, which is, of course, based on the classic game.
The blog Creepy Catalog describes the movie this way. “The film’s plot is set in 1954 where six strangers are invited to a mansion on a dark and stormy night. The six guests are addressed by pseudonyms: Colonel Mustard (Martin Mull), Mrs. White (Madeline Kahn), Mrs. Peacock (Eileen Brennan), Mr. Green (Michael McKean), Professor Plum (Christopher Lloyd), and Miss Scarlet (Lesley Ann Warren). Also in the mansion is the butler, Wadsworth (Tim Curry) and maid, Yvette (Colleen Camp). After they arrive, a seventh guest, Mr. Boddy, is murdered and the rest of the film follows the guests as they attempt to unravel blackmail plots and motives and figure out who the murderer among them is.”
The movie was released in 1985 and though it isn’t a strict Halloween movie, many consider it a movie they watch around this time of year.
According to Creepy Catalog, the movie wasn’t exactly a hit when it was released, making only $14 million when it cost $15 million to make. Fans, however, loved it, including Horror fans who like it because it is an early roll of Tim Curry who would later star as the dancing clown, Penny Wise in the TV mini-series of Stephen King’s It, which was the first movie I told Erin I would NOT watch under any circumstances.
Incidentally, the board game was invented between 1943 and 1945 by an English musician and factory worker trying to solve his boredom during the Blitz of World War II. He was inspired by his love of Agatha Christie novels and by detective games his parents used to play. The game was first called Cluedo, a combination of Clue and Ludo, which mean “I play” in Latin. Read more about the game on the History Channel site.
I watched this with my son and thirty minutes in he said, “Wait, a minute. Is this supposed to be a comedy?”
“Yes!” I told him.
“Well, then it’s not that funny. I thought these people were trying to be serious.”
That made me laugh even harder and made me think of the time my parents watched The Pink Panther with my grandmother, who didn’t have a sense of humor, and every time my grandmother said she didn’t see what was so funny my parents would laugh harder.
Later he decided he did like the movie because he said “It’s like the actors are trying to take it all very seriously and then, ‘boob joke.’” In other words, it grew on him.
The movie is very fast-paced with a lot of quick verbal exchanges that include a series of play on words. The end of the movie was so fast-paced that Tim Curry apparently had to be treated for high blood pressure toward the end of filming from all his running around, according to a couple articles I read.
I may have to watch it at least a couple more times to try to catch all the comments, innuendos, and jokes that I missed the first time around since it was going so fast.
The exchanges between the characters were funny and the ending had my head spinning trying to figure out who did it. Part of the reason the movie wasn’t a huge hit when it was released was because it featured three different endings and what ending you saw depended on which theater you went to.
I liked the idea of the endings being presented as possible endings along with the real ending in the version that is on streaming services now.
Next up on our “spooky season” movies list is The Addam’s Family.
After that it’s:
Shaun of the Dead
Transylvania 6-500 or Practical Magic (wild card)
Creature from the Black Lagoon (Classic Creature Feature)
Legend of Sleepy Hollow
And …. If I can take it… Halloween from 1979.
You can read Erin’s impression of Clue over on her blog today.