Friday, September 4, 2015


THE LEGACY (1978) 

Label: Scream Factory

Release Date: September 15th 2015
Region Code: A
Duration: 100 Minutes
Rating: R
Audio: English DTS-HD MA Mono with Optional English SDH Subtitles
Video: 1080p HD Wideceen (1.85:1) 
Director: Richard Marquand
Cast: John Standing, Ian Hogg, Katharine Ross, Roger Daltrey, Sam Elliott

Maggie Walsh (Katherine Ross, Donnie Darko) and her moustached boyfriend Pete Danner (Sam Elliott The Frogs)  are L.A. based interior decorators who accept a lucrative offer in England when their current client mysteriously dies in a fatal car wreck Arriving across the pond they rent a motorcycle and enjoy a ride through the scenic countryside, only to be run-off the road by a Roll Royce owned by Jason Mountolive (John Standing), who offers them lodging at his country mansion Ravenhurst while the motorcycle is repaired. 

Oddly, once they arrive the seem to have been expected, stranger still is that Mountolive turns out to be the client who contracted them, the whole encounter seems to have been fated.  After settling in other guests begin to arrive at Ravenhurst, we have "...a million-dollar prostitute, a star-maker, a nation-killer, a woman whose lust runs cold as graveyard snow...", all beneficiaries of Jason's who seem to owe their careers to him, including The who's singer Roger Daltry as - what else - a rocker. It is revealed that Jason is dying, which is surprising as he seemed the picture of health earlier in the day, aside from popping some pills. 

All are summoned to see Jason who is now bed-ridden and on life support in a sterilized chrome-and-glass-styled room, curtains drawn to obscure his face, he summons Margaret to come closer, as she near a monstrous hand emerges and places a ring on her finger, the same ring that the other visitors can be seen wearing, baring the Mountolive crest. She attempts to remove he ring but is unable to pry it off, which sh chalks up to just having a swollen finger. 

She is told of a some ancient Legay that will be passed onto one of Jason's beneficiaries, which she is now one of. Neither her nor Pete believe in the hocus pocus but soon enough, each of the beneficiaries begin to die in a series of strange accident; the rocker chokes to death, there's a drowning, a burning, and yet another is impaled with shards of glass and more, at one point one of the beneficiaries turn on the young couple, hunting them both with a crossbow from the rooftop of the estate.

There's also the Ravenhurst staff lead by creepy Nurse Adams (Margaret Tyzack) who turns out to be a shape shifter of sorts, it's all very strange stuff, the sort of thing that could only be a product of the '70s. The cast is damn decent with believable performances across the board, and while the kills are fun and somewhat elaborately staged they're not overly gory, but the the film does get by on some strange atmosphere and suspense, probably more weirdness than actual suspense to be honest.

Directed by Richard Marquanf (Return of the Jedi) I expected a bit more from it, but it's just not on the level of superior evil-house movies like The Sentinel or The Legend of Hell House It made for a decent watch as it too-slowly builds to a goofy finale, one which holds a few minor surprises, but not one that will leave you gobsmacked. There's just not a lot to love about this one aside from '70's weirdness and some decent murder set-pieces. 

Audio/Video: The Legacy arrives on Blu-ray from Scream Factory with a new 2K scan from the interpositive, and it looks darn good all things considered. As the movie was shot with a bit of the favored '70s soft focus so details are not as crisp as one could hope for but the image looks quite nice, colors are strong and the source material is near flawless with no detectable instances of print damage, this is a nice upgrade for the DVD. 

The DTS-HD MA 2.0 audio is solid, dialogue is crisp and clean, the somewhat bland Michael J. Lewis score and effects are nicely balanced, there's some nice oomph to it at times, optional English SDH subtitles are provided. 

Onto he extras we have an interview with noted Academy Award Winning Film Editor Anne V. Coates who speaks about how she came into the editing part of movie making, her thoughts on the film. There's a second interview with Special Effects Artist Robin Grantham who speaks about the effects of the movie. Unfortunately no input from Katherine Ross or Sam Elliot for this one. We also have a trailer, radio spot, a gallery and a sleeve of reversible artwork for the movie. 

Special Features
- NEW HD Transfer From The Interpositive
- NEW Interview With Academy Award Winning Film Editor Anne V. Coates (LAWRENCE OF ARABIA) (14 Mins) HD 
- NEW Interview With Special Effects Artist Robin Grantham (11 Mins) HD 
- Theatrical Trailer (2 Mins) 
- TV Spot (1 Mins) 
- Radio Spot (1 Mins) HD 
- Photo Gallery (3 Mins) 

The Legacy doesn't hold-up for me very well, as a kid I found it to be eerie and weird, and while it is still pretty weird this occult-based thriller is sort of  goofy. Scream Factory have put together a nice HD presentation with at least a few extras, which is way more than I would have expected for this low-grade chiller. 2.5/5