I don’t understand this movie. I watched it an awfully long time ago originally and I’m still just as confused by it watching it again. The thing that baffles me most though is why do so many people like it? It was a big hit for its time, at least in its home country of England and the UK. There’s tits in it, is that the reason? Christopher Lee said this was the best movie he’s ever starred in. Is that because he liked tits so much?
This movie is about religious beliefs and how far religious fanatics might go for their faith. That’s all fine. What’s bad about this movie is that it’s trying to combine mystery with horror with musical. Horrors and musicals can be done well, as seen by the musicals Little Shop of Horrors, or Sweeney Todd, and mystery isn’t that different from horror really. I don’t think that’s the problem.
The problem I have is that the “villians” in this are basically a big group of pagan hippies. It shows them doing things you might see a pagan do, like dance naked around a maypole, or something hippies might do, like get a bunch of musical instruments and sing drunkenly in a bar together. But then it adds this whole sacrificing humans plot and it’s just, well… kind of silly really. Everyone knows that hippies aren’t typically dangerous, and pagans, despite being modern day witches or whatever, are essentially just as harmless if not more so, just like the medieval witches, no matter what the Spanish Inquisition and people trying to get Harry Potter thrown out of schools might tell you.
So, this is a horror movie that isn’t scary because anyone with half a brain should realize it’s ridiculous. Then as a musical, the music doesn’t fit the movie. It’s mostly upbeat, doesn’t really explain anything about what’s going on to me and is only useful to be distracting to the actual plot. So, therefore, as a musical it also fails.
The only thing this movie gets right is the mystery. It works in that I spend the movie wondering what happened to the missing girl he’s looking for and with every step in discovery there’s a new twist and the detective has to look deeper. That part works. It’s just trying to be some kind of semi-supernatural horror movie on top of that and falling flat on its face in the process. I don’t know if the mystery itself is enough for me to recommend this movie to anyone.
I guess at least it has boobs.
Why it’s on the list?: It has a 90% Fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes, so I guess I’m disagreeing with 90% of the people who have seen it. Maybe someone should explain to me why it’s good, though I’d probably just argue why they’re wrong. This isn’t scary, it’s just silly. Maybe the person who put this list together just really likes tits?