20 September 2014

The Strange Possession of Mrs. Oliver (1977)
74 min.
Directed by Gordon Hessler.
With Karen Black, George Hamilton, Robert F. Lyons, Lucille Benson, Jean Allison, Gloria LeRoy, Burke Byrnes, Asher Brauner, Charles Cooper.
A moody telehorror.

Dowdy housewife Miriam Oliver (Black) is having nightmarish visions of her own death - and then she begins taking on the personality and appearance of a mysterious woman who passed away a few years earlier.

What fiery ghost or spirit could possess such a strong hold on the meek Miriam?

Black is wonderfully sexy and fetching in the 'Sandy transformation' scenes, particularly while wearing a flattering blonde wig and shimmying to the disco strains of "Venus" on the beerroom dance floor!

No stranger to the genre, director Gordon Hessler (who did 1969's The Oblong Box as well as 1973's Scream, Pretty Peggy et al), constructs the evocative dream sequences with a sure hand.

The Richard Matheson teleplay keeps you guessing while the satisfying conclusion has a nice, surprising twist. Mrs. Oliver is a rare yet gratifying find.

A real treat for fans of Karen Black's uniquely beguiling gifts.

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