23 April 2014

The Strange and Deadly Occurrence (1974)
74 min.
Directed by John Llewellyn Moxey.
With Vera Miles, Robert Stack, Dena Dietrich, L.Q. Jones, Herb Edelman, Ted Gehring, Margaret Willock.
Enjoyable TV terror from genre director John Llewellyn Moxey.

Michael (Stack) and Christine Rhodes (Miles) move their family to a secluded country house in hopes of escaping the daily grind of the big city.

Once there, the Rhodes discover there's an evil presence lurking in and about the home.

Daughter Melissa is terrorized at night; something kills the family dog in the adjoining stables.

The question: is the menace a supernatural force or some madman altogether real?

Written by Amityville Horror writer Sandor Stern, this benefits positively from an on-the-fence stance up to the revealing climax, a middle of the road 'drama or horror' ambiguity.

Vera Miles is terrific as always.

Best scene(s): either the headless mannequin shot or the creepy moment with the family trapped in the master bedroom at night...and a psycho wailing, moaning somewhere just outside the house!

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