DON’T OPEN THE DOOR! (DON’T HANG UP!/SEASONS FOR MURDER)
(director: S.F. Brownrigg; screenwriters: Frank Schaefer/Kerry Newcomb; cinematographer: Robert Alcott; editors: Jerry Caraway, Lynn Leneau; music: Bob Farrar; cast: Susan Bracken (Amanda Post), Hugh Feagin (Nick), Larry O’Dwyer (Claude Kearn), Gene Ross (Judge Stemple), Jim Harrell (Dr. Crawther), Rhea MacAdams (Grandmother), Annabelle Weenick (Annie); Runtime: 90; MPAA Rating: PG; producers: S.F. Brownrigg, Martin Jurow; VCI; 1974)
“An eerie low-budget suspense drama that’s not fully developed, but is filled with potential.“
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
An eerie low-budget suspense drama that’s not fully developed, but is filled with potential. It’s set in an historic Texas house ( known in real-life as the House of the Seasons). Texas director S.F. Brownrigg (“Don’t Look in the Basement”/”The forgotten”) films it in East Texas, where he usually films. The film is savaged by a poor script from Frank Schaefer and Kerry Newcomb; and savaged more by poor pacing and too much talk.
After thirteen years away from her childhood home in Allerton, Texas, where her mom was brutally killed when she was a young girl, Amanda Post (Susan Bracken, daughter of the comic actor Eddie Bracken) responds to an emergency call from a hometown woman (Annabelle Weenick) to return home and care for her dying elderly granny (Rhea MacAdams). Fearing her granny is being mistreated by the unfriendly family doctor (Jim Harrell), she requests her almost comatose granny be moved to the hospital. When the doctor denies her request, she calls her doctor ex-boyfriend Nick (Hugh Feagin) to visit her from Dallas and get granny admitted to the local hospital. Nick stays overnight and returns to Dallas after completing his mission.
Meanwhile two creepy local guys want granny’s house. One is her hostile lawyer and town judge (Gene Ross), the other is the weird operator of a mannequin/doll museum (Larry O’Dwyer), who also makes threatening pervert phone calls to the heroine.
The third act brings out its slasher horror film stuff required of the genre, but the action scenes seem awkward. Though there were things I liked about it, such as its strange camera angle shots and those magnificent spiral staircase upward shots during crunch time, this is a missed opportunity film that should have been a worthy trashy cult film if in better hands.
REVIEWED ON 1/1/2018 GRADE: C+ https://dennisschwartzreviews.com/