commercial actress and fashion model
Alison Parker (Cristina Raines) is
not ready for marriage but falls in love
with her lawyer Michael Lerman
(Chris Sarandon) but needs her space so
she accepts an old apartment down at the
Brooklyn Heights where she spots a
strange old priest by the name of Fr.
Francis Matthew Halloran (John
Carradine) staring outside on his top
floor whom is apparently blind.
She is also haunted by her past when she
tried to commit suicide as a teenager
when she caught her father Mr. Parker
(Fred Stuthman) fooling around with two
women and continues to have nighmares
about it while residing at the old
She is also introduced by an eccentric
neighbor of named Charles Chazen (Burgess
Meredith) who owns a cat and a pet budgie
and takes them wherever he goes.
Apart from that she is invited by two
strange lesbian couples by the names of
Gerde Engstrom (Sylvia Miles) and Sandra
(Beverly D'Angelo) for some tea in their
suite as Alison is briefly left alone by
Sandra and seemes to nearly masturbate
while staring at her.
Next, she is invited to Charles' suite
with the rest of the residents there for
a birthday celebration for his cat and
later on goes into a twisted dream during
that scenario along with hearing
footsteps thumping back and fourth on the
top floor and keeping her awake at night.
She talks to her realtor Miss Logan (Ava
Gardner) but tells her that no one has
lived on that floor for years and that
she is living alone there with only
Halloran on the top floor which doesn't
make sense to her as she tells her about
the neighbors and the party she was
invited to for a cat and Miss Logan
thinks that Allison is losing it.
She also has psysical problems to top it
off especially when she is doing a photo
or commercial shoot plus can only read in
latin losing her eye sight along with
telling Michael that she saw her dead
father residing on the top floor of her
suite so Michael does some research on
the people living at the apartment only
finding out that they were all dead and
most of the people were once murderers
that sold their souls to the devil. The
terrifying secret is that Allison is
living there for an evil reason and
something is planned for her and the
building is a gateway to hell.
A film based on Jeffrey
Konvitz novel but really doesn't
meet up to a film version on this which
can be easily categorised as a ripoff to
Rosemary's Baby with a touch of
the Exorcist by having the lead actress
play an actress except there's no
possessions. Of course the film tried to
have original elements along the way but
it doesn't cut it.
There's many good takes with
a photographer taking pictures of Alison Parker modelling which looked
Many good conversations and takes
between Alison and supporting
landlady Miss Logan by showing her around the building
that she decided to reside in along with
a nice shot looking up at the two of them
standing outside when Alison herself tells her someone in that building is
staring at her which looked impressive
for a start on a horror flick.
There is a flashback moment with an elderly family man fooling around with a bunch of chubby sleazy bimbos and his daughter which is a teenage Alison Parker catching him in the act as well as her trying to take her life which suits the story showing a real disturbing dysfunctional moment along with her nightmares about it showing a good drawing card to everything o0n what she will encounter much later. Then it haunts
her in her new suite.
There's more mysterious elements like having a supposed preacher who is blind just standing out the window of his apartment building and wondering who this person really is which is creepy later on.
A nice presence by the
main resident Charles Chazen at the building introducing
himself along with his cat and pet bird
giving it that humoress touch which works
My favourite scene in the film is when Alison is invited by their lesbian neighbors named Gerde Engstrom and Sandra in which Sandra seems sexually aroused by spotting her which she acts inapporopriate about it all. Right away I wondered if these two were somewhat possessed by a demonic force. It was creepy regardless making it a nice key to the atory on what will unravel later on as well.
What will boggle your mind is an eccentric resident inviting everyone to celebrate a Birthday to his pet cat which you don't spot everyday as well as certain comments by the people there making comments about it all as it seems to act like they're on something serious. It looked good and twistedwhen she is entering a room with the guests at a cat's Birthday party along
with many good shots on the cat wearing a
party hat which looked cute. It was
really strangely done by leaving it a
nice horror feel that something's not
right along with a nice one liner onone of the guests commenting the colour of the cake with
the cat. I could never shake that moment
There's also a hallucination moment with Alison and everyone surrounding her in which some of them are nude which easily does steal away from Rosemary's Baby by any means. A good shot on her sleeping in
bed at night twisting and turning and
it was a nice dark feeling with her
having a nightmare along with a nice
black and white dream sequence with some
of the residents at the
party doing some strange deeds along with Sandra banging some cymbals
together and then going towards the
camera with them.
a perfect dark shot with Alison holding a knife trembling and walking
around the halls with a knife and then a
good gruseome shot on the cat eating the
bird and then hissing with her getting
Plus there's many moments when Alison is in bed and hears loud footsteps from above at night in which this was supposed to be scary when she finds out what has caused this and yet it's a little bit creepy but at the same time turning out to be a bit cheesy too.
A good moment with her entering a dark room and then her dead father as a ghostly
corpse breezing by along with her
approaching him in which this moment gives it
that good old fashioned haunting feel to
it. There's also many good shots on her
stabbing his face.
There's also the final truth on these residents which is also bizarre when her and her boyfriend Michael Lerman finds out who they are. A good argumentive moment
betweenthe two of them about some books on a shelf
at the building when she explains theyre
all the same and printed in latin. It
psychs you out a bit.
A terrific camera shot looking up
on Michael while browsing
through some files realising that the
residents were all killers and dead which
looked good and creepy.
There's a great moment with Michael chasing
after Fr. Francis Matthew
Halloran up the stairs and later on acting intense
and trying to strangle him.
A good still and creepy moment
with Michael approaching Alison and telling her what's going to
happen to her and what happened to him
which leaves a chill down your spine.
Also for the final conclusion involving Alison with these residents looked a bit twisted and gothic along with appealing to a cult audience with these types of horror flicks.
Bottom line is that It's a weird story and at times creepy though with alot of failed moments trying so hard to be scary which it looks a little corny/ However, some of the scene's almost remind me of those old fashioned black and white haunted house type of a flick but like I mentioned alltogether is that sometimes it's a little cheesy and bland too. The story is a little slow to top it all off.
Watch it if you're in the mood for an average cult and twisted low budget horror flick but don't expect it to be a mainstream blockbuster type of a film as it misses that by a longshot.
The acting is
well... some of it needed improvement
especially with lead actor Chris
Sarandon (Michael Lerman) who just seemed to read his
lines and desperately needed acting
classes as I was not the least bit
convinced. He only did a good job with
the direction but no character at all.
Cristina Raines (Alison Parker) who plays his
girlfriend seemed a bit better but needed
a bit more energy as she seemed at times
wooden but knew how to cry on set along
with showing the odd fears when
necessary. She was does well by
when she acts woozy while someone is taking photographs of her. She isn't too bad when she is crying confessing to an onscreen preacher on what she did.
Jose Ferrer (Priest of the Brotherhood) seemed to play his part
as a mysterious preacher quite well as he
comes across as someone who isn't what
he's all cracked up to be and in an evil
Ava Gardner (Miss Logan) know her job and was
quite slick with her words as the real
estate agent in the film and even she
came across as someone who is almost
deceiving and has a twisted secret about
Burgess Meredith (Charles Chazen) really brought out
alot of character in his role as the
eccentric neighbor in the film and was
quite a ham too which uplifts the
darkness to the story. He also came
across well with his evil words later on
showing his true versatality to his part. A perfect snarling reaction on
her speaking evilly towards her fellow actress while she tries to get away. A nice reaction on her when she is about
to slit her wrists until she is
Sylvia Miles (Gerde Engstrom) is just plain creepy no
matter what she portrays and this time
plays a lesbian in the film and shows a
nice and sleek what sounds like a Russian
accent which was very amusing. She
definetely leaves an impression that you
wouldn't want to trust her at all or
being alone in a room with her. She
always came across that way with every
show I've seen her in usually playing
these oddball types of characters.
Beverly D'Angelo (Sandra) who plays her lover
was also good at being whacked and
creepylike proving her character worthy
even if she didn't have very many lines
but did what she had to do to prove
herself which wasn't a surprise that she
lead a successful career afterwards.
We have a brief and breast
shot by two overweight actresses played
by Jane Hoffman and Elaine
Shore in bed during a flashback
scene and other various scene's with them
Cristina Raines wears a see through
There's a nude dream sequence with many
of the supporting actresses mainly
performed by Sylvia Miles and Beverly
D'Angelo exposing their breasts and D'Angelo
showing almost everything. They also do
this during their ghostly moments too.
A girl slashes her
wrists which looked good, graphic and
A ghostly corpse of an old man is
brutally stabbed in the eye and face with
blood pouring out of him.
A side of a guys face is slaughtered and
Two women start eating a man's corpse.
Gil Melle composes
the music very 70's orchestral like and
quite dated like you'd hear in a crime
series such as Starsky &
Hutch and Police Story
but there are some nice effective moments
with the high quivery violin playing for
when the mystery unfolds about the
residents that are supposedly dead along
with some screechy type chord playing too
along with the low rumbling drums sounds.
However there's a moment with the dead
father and we hear a high pitched
trombone playing which sounded a little
Anna Clark: Black and white
cake... Black and white cat