01 September 2014

Who Slew Auntie Roo? (1971)
88 min.
Directed by Curtis Harrington.
With Shelley Winters, Mark Lester, Chloe Franks, Ralph Richardson, Lionel Jeffries, Rosalie Crutchley, Pat Heywood, Judy Cornwell, Hugh Griffith.
Wealthy and eccentric Aunt Roo (Winters) hosts annual Christmas parties at her manor for a select group of local orphans.

The genial benefactress lavishes the young tots with roast turkey, candied treats and toy presents.

She also keeps her dead child mummified in the upstairs nursery, singing mad lullabies to the desiccated corpse.

Eh. Nobody's perfect.

When one of the poor visiting children (Franks) begins to remind her of her dead daughter, Roo decides to kidnap her as a replacement.

Only problem is, the little girl's willful brother Christopher (Lester) is determined to get his sister back...and stop Roo forever.

A nice retelling of the classic fairy tale Hansel and Gretel (with Winters clearly delighting in the devilish role), this is lovingly directed by genre regular Curtis Harrington.

Kudos to brave Lester who holds his own against the crazed Roo.

Also known as Gingerbread House.

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