Murder Mansion, 1972
A bunch of people get lost in the fog, and somehow all end up at the same dark, mysterious, not very large mansion, which overlooks a graveyard near an abandoned village. They spend most of the time rehashing (or flashing back to) their personal lives, and some of the time getting stalked and killed by apparent zombies, or possibly vampires.
Murder Mansion is, in essence, a Gothic expliqué. It does manage to imbue the proceedings with a fair amount of mood and spookiness, but not much else. The characters are more or less interchangeable, the women, while stunningly attractive (mostly), don’t doff kit at any point, there is little forward momentum to the narrative, and, once the expliqué kicks in, it epicly fails to actually explain things. Like: how did those behind the proceedings manipulate everyone, independently, into getting lost, but all in the same exact area? If the explanation were supernatural, then that would make sense. But it isn’t, so it doesn’t. At all.
The opening manages to be moderately interesting, as it is done without any dialogue. A guy who looks like Elvis Costello in his hairier moments tries to run a motorcyclist (who, in his goggles, looks a bit like Zalman King from Trip with the Teacher) off the road, and they contest for a pretty young hitchhiker. The whole bit runs nearly nine minutes, but until the end, it’s wordless.
Not much to say about this one beyond that, alas. It wasn’t wretched, but at the end, all I could ask myself was “why?”