Monday, July 26, 2010

MYSTERY DOUBLE FEATURE: COME DIE WITH ME / THE INVASION OF CAROL ENDERS

This one is a bit of an oddity - two 65 minute, shot-on-video TV movies from the early 1970s that originally aired on ABC's late night anthology series, WIDE WORLD OF MYSTERY, produced by Dan Curtis (DARK SHADOWS, TRILOGY OF TERROR).

The first movie on this disc is COME DIE WITH ME (1974), starring George Maharis (THE SWORD & THE SORCERER), Eileen Brennan (PRIVATE BENJAMIN) and Katheryn Leigh Scott (DARK SHADOWS). A gambler (Maharis) goes to his wealthy brother for money, who refuses to give him a loan. Impulsively he kills his brother and finds himself blackmailed by the only witness - a family servant (Brennan) who has been secretly in love with him since she was a girl - and the price for her silence is marriage. Too bad he already has a girlfriend...

The second feature is THE INVASION OF CAROL ENDERS (1973), which stars Meredith Baxter (AIRLINE DISASTER) and Christopher Connelly. This one has a bit of a supernatural twist, as Carol Enders (Baxter) is mugged and struck unconscious. When she awakes, she believes that she is a different woman - a woman who died in an automobile accident while Carol was unconscious. Further, it appears that the car crash wasn't an accident after all. has Carol lost her mind? Or is she possessed?

Shot on video and very talky with limited production value and flat, visually dull direction, both of the movies on this disc are moderately interesting and well-acted. The stories are reasonably engaging, and hold your attention, though neither is something you're likely to want to watch more than once. When these originally aired, it was as late night filler for insomniacs, and that's pretty much their perfect audience.

Dark Sky continues their noble effort to preserve every Dan Curtis production on DVD with this perfectly adequate release. Both movies are presented in 1:33:1 "full-frame" ratio, with mono sound. They look and sound about as good as 70s video ever looks and sounds; i.e. like a soap opera. There are no extras, although subtitles have been included.

While they're not bad, they're not really lost classics, either. If you're a die-hard Dan Curtis completist or a fan of the actors featured in these teleflicks, then it might be worth picking up. Otherwise, you may want to Netflix 'em.

BUY: Invasion of Carol Enders & Come Die With Me