Saturday, January 3, 2015

CATACOMBS - Carlo Martelli - "The Woman Who Wouldn't Die" (1965)

To kick off 2015, tonight's feature is a twisted little tale of almost pre-code comics style from 1965 called "The Woman Who Wouldn't Die," which is a pretty descriptive title!

The original title was "Catacombs," but that's a much more obscure reference that you would really have to see the movie to understand since I'm not going to take the time to explain it! When I put this movie on and saw this title card, I thought this movie would probably be a real sleeper, but I was quite surprised! This is a portrait of Georgina Cookson as the lean and mean shrewd businesswoman Ellen Garth!! Not much else horrific in Georgina's résumé, she spent most of her time on dramatic TV shows, but she was on two episodes of "The Prisoner!"

Gary Merrill is Ellen Garth's husband Raymond! His job is mostly just to do whatever she tells him, and she likes to tell him what to do a lot, so it's a full time job!

The lovely Jane (Island Of The Burning Damned) Merrow is Ellen Garth's niece Alice Taylor! She has no parents and has just come home after being away at school for a couple of years! She's a lot more grown up than Raymond remembers! One of Jane's earliest roles was one of the chorus girls in the 1962 Herbert Lom version of "Phantom Of The Opera! Never to far away from the camera, Jane's in a film scheduled to come out some time this year!

This is a nice cast ensemble shot that includes that fourth main member of this story, Neil McCallum as Richard Corbett, Ellen Garth's secretary! Neil was in "Dr. Terror's House Of Horrors," and was the voice of Dr. Ray Pierce in "Thunderbirds Are Go!" Neil's career was cut way too short at the age of 46 when he died from a brain Hemorrhage! What the Heck!?

Despite Ellen Garth's pleas that Alice move in with them, she gets her own flat
 instead! Alice is also an aspiring artiste, and thinks she'd like to do a bust of Raymond!

Ellen Garth's got a bad wheel, and when the pain gets too bad, she is able to put herself into a trance!

Working on that bust has caused Raymond and Alice to spend a little too much time together, so after coming home from a late drinking and eating bout one night, things start to heat up between the two of them!


"Raymond, I've got soap in my eye, and I can't find a towel."

Well, Raymond has had enough! As hairy and demonic looking as Gary Merrill can be, I think he would have been a good candidate for the role of  Dr. Jekyll at some point!

I rest my case!! Gary Merrill had a great career that included 5 episodes of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," a stint on "Twilight Zone" in the episode called "Still Valley," and the "The Outer Limits" episode titled "The Human Factor!"

So here's the deal! Raymond and Richard Corbett had a plan to kill Ellen Garth, and split the inheritance money between them, but when Raymond lost it, and killed Ellen prematurely, he screwed up the whole deal! Richard found an out of work actress who was a ringer for Ellen! She is to go on vacation to Italy, and as a known bad driver, she is going to have an accident on some curvy country road! I don't think this gal got paid enough for this role!

Richard brutally murders the actress, douses the car in petrol and sets in on fire, and it's all set to the only swingin' music in the whole movie! The composer here is Carlo Martelli, who out of a career of ten credits, six had titles like "Witchcraft," "The Curse Of The Mummy's Tomb,""Who Killed The Cat?," "Prehistoric Women," and "IT!"

Raymond is terribly distraught when he gets the news about Ellen's car crash!!

Now that Ellen is dead, Ramond and Alice are equal partners as far as the inheritance is concerned, and then everything starts to go haywire! The electricity goes out and there's something creeping around outside!

Left to himself, Raymond sees that the body of his dead wife has become re-animated!

He backs up while at the same time emptying his pistol into the apparition, goes too far and falls out the window to a certain death!

Now it's up to you to figure out the who & why? "Catacombs!" Why wouldn't this damn woman die?


Grant said...

One of Gary Merrill's more entertaining roles is in one of those Hitchcock episodes you mention (one of the hour-long shows), THE PARAGON with Joan Fontaine. In that one he also plays a man who's trying to lose his wife, but in that one a lot of your sympathy is with HIM.

Eegah!! and Tabonga! said...

He's an interesting guy!

Anonymous said...

Jane Merrow also guest starred in a lot of British and American TV shows, including Danger Man (US: Secret Agent), The Avengers, The Prisoner, and Mission Impossible.

Eegah!! and Tabonga! said...

Thanx! There can never be too much information!

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