Saturday, March 7, 2015

WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO AUNT ALICE? - Gerald Fried - "Grave Consequences" (1969)

Welcome back to The Dungeon! Sometimes doing this can be a real chore, but not tonight! "What Ever Happened To Alice" is indeed a Saturday Night Special! I will just never understand why films this good are so hard to find!

 "What Ever Happened To Aunt Alice" was released in 1969, and is arguably one of the best of the lot in the Who, What, Where, and When films! The music for "What Ever Happened To Aunt Alice" was created by Dungeon Hall Of Famer Gerald Fried! Here's just a portion of Gerald's accomplishments: THE VAMPIRE, DINO, THE RETURN OF DRACULA, THE FLAME BARRIER, I BURY THE LIVING, CURSE OF THE FACELESS MAN, THE CRY BABY KILLER, THE LOST MISSILE, HIGH SCHOOL BIG SHOT, and THE CABINET OF CALIGARI, and it just doesn't get much better than that, and this killer theme will explain just how off kilter this man, and this movie really were! Enjoy it kids, this is one of my favourites!

 Geraldine Page is Clare Marrable! Her husband has just passed away, but she doesn't care, because she's just happy to be rich! Unfortunately she didn't know that her husband was up to his neck in debt, and all she got out of the deal was his stamp and his butterfly collection! She is now broke and homeless, and the only person she knows is her nephew in Arizona!

There's not a lot of mystery to this film! It's some time in the future now and Clare is living quite nicely in the boondocks of Arizona!  She has acquired a nasty habit of hiring women to care for her, talking them into putting their life savings in her bank account so she can invest it for them, and then bashing their heads in and burying them in the desert!

 "What Ever Happened To Aunt Alice" is literally the Cadillac Margarita of movies! Number one, Clare has a penchant for just sitting around sipping Grand Mariner liqueur, and she has blue agave cactus growing all over her property! In fact, I'm going to pour myself a shot of Grand Mariner right now just to prove it!

It was tough trying to decide which shot of this line of pine trees to use, they cut to them so many times! The reason being that each one (and you can see they are different ages) is a burial plot for one of many of Clare's housekeepers!

Geraldine Sue Page is, and I quote the IMDB because this is very interesting, "considered by many to be one of the greatest American actresses of all time," and if this movie is any indication, I agree with them 100%! She damn sure plays a mighty fine homicidal nut job!

Rosemary Forsyth as Clare's newly acquired neighbor Harriet Vaughn reminds me too much of a girl I knew back about the time this movie was released! I thought it was pretty damn funny that the next movie that Rosemary was in was titled "Some Kind Of A Nut," like Clare wasn't already nutty enough!

I'm not showing you a lot of shots of different cast members in this film because how can I not give you this shot of Clare with a weird ass clown painting in the background! C'mon, just try and tell me that's not freaky!

The always magnificent Ruth Gordon is Alice, Clare's newest hire! What Clare doesn't know is that Alice was a good friend of Clare's last housekeeper that vanished mysteriously, and she is really trying to figure out what the fuck is going on! Dunno why, but I'm enamored with Geraldine's hand in this shot!

 A record player and bottles of booze in the same shot will always be a Dungeon favourite!

A stray dog named Chloe has been terrorizing Clare by having a penchant for digging around her pine trees!  Clare traps Chloe in a shed and tries to kill her with a hatchet, but when Chloe bears her teeth, Clare has second thoughts, and Chloe is free again! Chloe was played by a dog called Spike! With only four credits, Spike had a pretty spectacular career. Besides this film, there was "The She-Creature," "Old Yeller," and "A Dog Of Flanders!"

These days it's risque to show two 13 year old boys kissing, but back in 1969, it was pretty nutzoid to see an 11 year old kid smoking a cigarette and spying on his Mom making out with the new guy in town! Michael Barbera is Jimmy Vaughn, Clare's new Neighbor Harriet's son! I think this was Michael's only movie appearance, but he was all over the TV from 1968 to 1980!

What did I tell you? Now Clare's having a blended Margarita! If she would have just added the Grand Mariner, she could have been credited with drinking the first Cadillac Margarita!

No matter the subject matter, when you have great actors and great cinematography, you're going to end up with a pretty damn good movie, and that's what you have got here!!

When Clare is confronted with the truth by Alice, there's a big battle and I think one of the best action screen captures I have ever got! 

"What Ever Happened To Alice" is one of the few movies that I don't mind telling you what happens in the end, because the title already has told you! 

 Freakin' Clare is now totally outside her mind! She has decided that her neighbor knows what she has been up to, so she invites her and her son over for a drink (FULL OF SLEEPING POTION)! If it's not bad enough that she knocks out  an innocent woman and her child, she then proceeds to move their drugged bodies back to their home and set it on fire! Clare IS NOT a nice person!!

 Jimmy and Harriet are saved and what's left of the cast gives Clare the big evil eye that she deserves!

The awesome twist to the ending is that the stupid stamp collection that Clare's husband left her was worth $100,000.00, and she could have lived comfortably and would have never had to become a serial killer! Great movie, but not exactly worth the 40 dollar DVD's available on Amazon! Hopefully somebody will re-release this thing some day!

8 comments:

Dr. Theda said...

Have you ever done one on "Whoever Slew Auntie Roo???"....

Dr. Theda said...

We did enjoy Shelly Winters performance in that oldie.....

Dr. Theda said...

"old Yeller's" other film....
Cool post..

Grant said...

N one could play neurotic "spinster" characters - or in this case, a widow - like Geraldine Page.

Eegah!! said...

Haven't done Auntie Roo yet Doc as far as I know, but then we are starting to lose track ourselves! Good call!

iain said...

Both movies (Alice and Roo) are available on a double bill as part of of MGM's 'Midnite Movies Double Feature' series. At this moment, on amazon, brand new copies of the double-movie set are selling for $4.35 apiece. I suggest you all go onto amazon at once, armed with your credit cards!

Eegah!! said...

Good tip Iain! It's on the way!

iain said...

:-)

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