Friday, May 13, 2016

YOU'LL LIKE MY MOTHER (1972) (Blu-ray Review)

Label: Scream Factory
Region Code: A
Duration: 92 Minutes
Rating: PG
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono 
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (1.85:1)
Director: Lamont Johnson
Cast: Patty Duke, Richard Thomas, Rosemary Murphy, Sian Barbara Allen

Scream Factory have unearthed another hidden gem of cinema from the 1970's, a snowbound thriller starring Patty Duke as Francesca, the pregnant widow of a Viet Nam soldier who has recently died. Francesca takes a long bus ride from Los Angeles all the way to a very cold and rural area of Minnesota. Her destination is the house of  her late husband's beloved mother, Mrs. Kinsolving (Rosemary Murphy) who Francesca has been lead to believe is a very kind soul. The Kinsolving home is located outside of a small town and Francesca unwisely chooses to travel there on foot from where she was dropped off at the bus station to the lonely mansion located just outside of town, to get there she braves the cold and drifts of snow. She arrives at the home only to a chilly reception from Mrs. Kinsolving who is less than welcoming of her daughter-in-law, in fact she says she chooses not to acknowledge the young woman as her son's wife and that their child means nothing to her... Damn, whatever happened to Minnesota nice!?! 

Needless to say the Minnesota winter is not the only coldness young Francesca must endure on this trip. Despite her initial rudeness Mrs. Kinsolving does refuse to let Francesca journey thought the cold back to the bus stop as a blustery winter storm has begun to brew. Francesca accepts her offer to stay the night with the intentions of leaving in the morning, which is a decision the young woman almost immediately regret as she is drugged and kept locked away in a room against her will by Mrs. Kinsolving, for reasons we do not yet understand.

Why she does this is revealed a bit too early on in my opinion, which prevents this claustrophobic thriller from properly milking a great set-up, it's not the thriller it should have been with some proper mystery, but Patty Duke and Rosemary Murphy put on quite a show for us with a cat and mouse game of who knows what and what to do about it begins to unfold, what follows is solid and atmospheric psychological thriller centered around some dark family secret. 

This impromptu family reunion is also attended my Mrs. Kinsolving's non-verbal daughter Kathleen (Sian Barbara Allen) who seems to suffer from some form of mental illness which renders her speechless, but who early on attempts to warn Francesca of the dangers of the house, the young actress turns in a Hell of a performance. Francesca must also contend with a murderous cousin who hides away in the basement of the house, played by Richard Thomas of The Waltons TV show for any of you out there old enough to remember that slice of Americana. Thomas also memorably appeared in the TV adaptation of Stephen King's It and he does a fine job here as the twisted cousin who adds another layer of weirdness to this intense family drama, one which reveals a too much too soon, but this is a solid thriller with a satisfying finale and some serious creepy family drama. 

Audio/Video: You''ll Like My Mother arrives on Blu-ray from Scream Factory in the original widescreen aspect ratio, the HD transfer is very pleasing with strong vibrant colors and a nice layer of film grain left faithfully intact without any rampant digital tinkering. The transfer is sourced from a clean source, I could not detect any major flaws throughout my viewing, a very nice transfer. The audio comes by way of a English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono track that is crisp and clean, the evocative score from composer Gil Melle (The Sentinel) perfectly compliments the creepy snowbound drama-thriller, optional English subtitles are provided. 

Extras on the disc are somewhat slim but impactful, including new interviews with stars Richard Thomas and Sian Barbara Allen which total nearly an hour in length, there is a gallery of photos and the theatrical trailer for the movie. Richard Thomas looks very much the same with some minor wear and tear, he till has a very youthful face with his trademark facial mole, but Sian Barbara Allen was hardly recognizable, but she had some good stories to share about how she came onto the movie and her experiences on-set. 

Special Features: 
- NEW Interviews With Richard Thomas And Sian Barbara Allen (55 Mins) 
- Photo Gallery (2 Mins) 
- Theatrical Trailer (2 Mins) 

I applaud Scream Factory for rescuing another hidden gem f seventies cinema from the dusty realm of movie obscurity and  bringing it to the fans with a great looking Blu-ray. I sure do love their Collector Editions from John Carpenter and other more infamous '80s horrors, but these more obscure releases are what get me excited the most, especially one like this which I'd never even heard of before! You'll Like My Mother has a lot to offer movie fans who enjoy a good slow-burn from the '70s, this one comes packaged with some great snowbound atmosphere in a creepy mansion with a handful of secretive inhabitants who are harboring a dark secret, this is recommended. 3/5