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October 04, 1979 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1979-10-04

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The Michigan Daily-Thursday, October 4, 1979-Page 5

Roman Polanski's

1965

IT'S JUST BORING AND TERRIBLE.
'Legacy reaches terrible low

REPULSION
Hands come out the wall or is just Catherine Deneuve just doing some wishful
thinking? Polanski's 1st English-language film, a psychological drama of a
girl's mental breakdown-culminating in murder. Surrealistic use of light
and sound.
Fri: THE ASHALT JUNGLE
Sat: LOVE AND DEATH
Sun: INVESTIGATION OF A CITIZEN ABOVE SUSPICION

By DENNIS HARVEY
After spending the summer being
assaulted by all sorts of rather unat-
tractive screen creatures-flesh-eating
z rmbies, Silly Putty-skinned mutant
bears with ten-inch teeth, tenacled
bulb-heads and other unwelcome
visitors-audiences may find some sort
of relief in The Legacy, a totally banal
new horror movie that tries its dam-
nedest to look neat and pretty even as
throats are being slit and squirming
bodies are being burnt to a crisp.
he director, Richard Marquand,
aims at creating an Architectural
Digest on film, with a lit'tle gore thrown
in every five minutes. Every shot is
framed to shampoo-commercial per-
fection, with equally glamourous
treatment allotted to both the beautiful
English scenery and one very long
close-up of an unfortunate chicken's
lead being cut off. Marquand seems to
have spent so much time turning each
scene into an animated Vogue layout
that he apparently forgot to take a look
at the script until it was too late.
No fewer than three writers labored
on the screenplay, and the result is,
well, labored. It's no more than the
latest silly retread of Old Dark House
cliches, complete with a roomful of
spoiled heirs to be exterminated one by
olie by the all-too-predictable
"mnysterious .supernatural force" that
lurks behind every door and in every
cookie jar. Be asssured, however, that
no matter how ridiculous the gory
goings-on' become, the characters
remain immaculately dressed and the

elaborate decore remains in the best
House Beautiful taste.
MAGGIE WALSH (Katherine Ross)
and Pete Danner (Sam Elliott), the
heroine and hero, are perfect man-
nequins -unsurprisingly represen-
tative of the depth the director reaches
for. They're, very pretty people, with'
pretty plastic personalities to match.
The L.A. stucco house they live in is
right out of the pages of Apartment
Life.
At the beginning of the film they have
a little tiff over whether to accept the
very well-paid but rather mysterious
contract they've been offered to design
a building in the English countryside.
After a few very mild notes of discord,
the two kiss and make up, just like the
folks in the T.V. commericals. Then
they travel across the ocean to accept
the job, striking various romantic poses
against various banal sunsets during
the opening credits while a sappy
ballad sung by L Kiki Dee, Another Sde
of Me," floods the soundtrack with the
sappiest dentist's office music this side
of Barry Manilow.
Through a series of events too non-
sensical to relate, these swell kids
become virtual prisoners at a' beautiful
countryside estate presided over by
Lord Jason Mountolive (John Stan-
ding)who appears to be healthy when
-we first see him. It isn't long, however,
before he begins rasping around dark
corners and turning up just before each
horrible murder. The victims are a
group of wealthy Europeans who have

been elevated and thoroughly corrup-
ted by Lord Jason's dabblings in black
magic. Before you can say "ugh," these
grown-up brats begin paying for their
various crimes through a number of
baroque but hardly suspenseful deaths.
IS MAGGIE really the successor to
Jason's evil power? More importantly,
once a witch, will she be able to wear
those, great clothes? Of what
significance are the nasty-looking rings
that all of the heirs wear? (If you've
read The Lord of the Rings, you already
know the answer to this one.)
And why is the manor's stone-faced
nurse, Adams (Margaret Tyzack),
repeatedly photographed as if she were
Big Brother? The answer to most of
these enthralling questions is revealed
with predictable inanity at the climax,
although the restless audience is likely
to have figured it all out well before the
big "ironic twist" (such as it is) that
thankfully brings things to a halt.
The laughably sloppy plotline allows
ample time to be killed with pic-
turesque but hardly appropriate
episodes as a water-ballet sequence,
and a perfunctory oh-no-the-hot-water-
is-scalding-me scene in a shower ob-
viously designed to do little more than
show off Elliott as Mr. Beefcake 1979.
There's a dismal replay of The Omen's
infamous devil dog attack, some idiotic
speculation about whether Nurse
Adams is really a white kitty or vice
versa, and other suvh gems of high ten-
sion.
ADMITTEDLY, THE cast is given
very little to work with, but under the
circumstances it manages to do even
less than expected. Katherine Ross,
generally a competent if uncompelling

actress, here is just another inane pret--
ty face. She can't work up much en-
thusuasm, perhaps understandably,
and even in her occasional scenes of
panicked hysteria she seems to be
thinking, "Just send me my paycheck
and I'll be happy.
Sam Elliott is, like James Brolin,
another very handsome TV graduate
who depends mainly on his carefully
trimmed moustache and frequently
bared chest to fulfill the tiny acting
requirements of the role. What Brolin
did for last month's Amittyville Horror,
Elliott does for the equally brilliant
Legacy. Most of the time he mopes
around rather sourly, apparently more
aggravated than terrified by the events
of the plot. His performance is hardly
helped by a Gunsmoke rasp of an ac-
cent that belongs out on the range with
the Injuns and buffaloes, who might
find his monotone less irritating than do
the viewers of this movie.
LASTLY, AND definitely least, is
Roger Daltrey. As the lead singer for
The Who, Daltry might be expected to
pull off his supporting part as a
European rock star easily. After all,
Daltry has already proven himself a
competent actor in a couple of fims,
most notably Ken Russell's version of
the rock opera Tommy. But type-
casting doesn't always work (remem-
ber, Gloria Swanson played herself in
Airport 1975 and managed to seem
miscast), and Daltrey comes across as
a babbling idiot. His desperate good
cheer makes him seem about as
amusing as the sort of dope who spouts
"My wife is so dumb. . . " at a feminist
meeting. The performance is too em-
barrassing to be laughed at.
As for The Legacy, it's finally just too
routine to be either scary or laughable.
When asked by an alarmed Ross about
his involvement with black magic, one
character says, "Don't look like that!.
It's just another way of life." The
Legacy reduces the horror genre to just
that level of banality.

CINEMA GUILD

TONIGHT AT
7:00 & 9:05

OLD ARCH. AUD.
$1.50

C
W O M E P
PR
A

INEMA II7

1

N IN FEATURE FILMS:
ODUCER JUDY STEED
ND THE FAR SHORE
(Joyce Wieland, 1978)

J

Cinema II proudly presents the Ann Arbor premiere of
Joyce Wieland's feature film, THE FAR SHORE. Set in Canada
in 1919, the film is as much about the social, political, and
artistic spirit of the times as it is about love and lovers.
Celine Lomez plays Eulalie, a young woman who, growing
restless in the suffocating atmosphere of her marriage, is
drawn into an affair with a neighboring artist. Focusing on
a women's suppressed yearnings-emotional, sexual, and
intellectual-and examining the notion of a woman in "her
proper place," THE FAR SHORE is exquisitely photographed
with one of the most erotic interludes ever filmed. After
the film, JUDY STEED, co-producer (with Wieland), will
speak on its making and answer questions from the aud-
ience. 7:00 ONLY

,.'

ADVANCE

TICKETS AVAILBLE AT ANY CINEMA I TICKET DESK

RECORDS

- .Stormwatch
JethroTuil
Chrysalia-1238
By PATTI DIETZ
Ian Anderson titled the second "Best
Of" collection of Jethro Tull material
Repeat. Perhaps he should retain that
title for all subsequent Tull albums. The
reader familiar with the last three
(studio) albums from this English band
has 'heard most of his year's offering,
Stormwatch, also.
Anderson's favorite themes .pop up
(yawn) once again. Assembled on
Stormwatch are the usual fascinations
for ominous weather, the fading of
youth, the once-glorious hero, and the
desperateness of London :street life.
We've heard this stuff before, so what's
new?" Flautist Anderson has now
taken to playing bass guitar.
Last year, bassist John Glascock
(who joined the group in 1976) declined
to tour with Tull because of a coronary
ailment, and was replaced with an
unknown bass player handpicked by
Anderson. The subsequent release of a
previously "shelved" live album last
fall "was probably due, in part, to

Clascock's inability to perform in the
studio. On Stormwatch, Ian takes over
the bass playing duties, although
Glascock lends a hand on three
relatively non-demanding cuts. Ander-
son supplies elementary bass
lines-even gives himself a few
laughable solos-but it is only when
Glascock reappears does Stormwatch be-
gin to sound like a Jethro Tull product.
ANDERSON HAD promised that the
next Jethro Tull album would be "more
rock oriented" than previous releases,
and that he would save his acoustic love
song dabblings to a solo effort. Stor-
mwatch does not make good his
promise. "Flying Dutchman" and
"North Sea Oil" are the only tunes
vaguely reminiscent of older Tull. The
instrumental, "Elegy", penned by or-
chestral arranger David Palmer, is out
of place on a Tull record, and "Home"
should have more wisely appeared on
Anderson's solo album. The latter is
also true of "Dun Ringill", which is so
obviously a direct line from the opening
strains of Thick As A Brick that it is
comedic.
As in the past, Anderson has.
produced the album, but now has
elevated longtime engineer Robin
Black to the role of co-producer. The
result, unfortunately, is over-
production. A pity, too, because to
hear Ian's production work has been
alone worth the price of theralbum even
when the material was substandard (as
on Heavy Horses).
There is little to get excited about on
Stormwatch. Anderson still hasn't
learned how to sing, and his adenoidal
outing on this record is more strained
than on earlier efforts. Even the
album's packaging is infantile; the
cover concept was developed by Ander-
son, who, it seems, had his fingers in too
many parts of this pie.

By DAN BOBER
Yipes! Yipes? Didn't Little Orphan
Annie use to say that a lot? The magic
words having been said, the room
winked out and I felt myself mater-
ializing in the middle of an Orphan An-
nie comic strip.
"Leapin' lizards. Daddy Warbucks, a
long-haired man just appeared from
out of nowhere."
"He looks like one of them rock and
roll stars, Annie."
"Arf. Arf. Arf."
"Quiet Sandy. What's rock and roll,
Daddy."
"It's a game in which a group of
musicians make themselves seem like
more than they really are by hiding
behind a blinding light show."
HAD TO GET out of there. I drop
kicked the dog into the far corner, and
hurled myself against the wall. The
wall resembled a mattress and I boun-
ced to the floor. "Yipes. He's gone
mad."
I grabbed several caption balloons in
an effort to float to freedom, but to no
avail. It was trite, but as a last resort, I
clicked my heels together three times
while saying, "There's no place like
home."
The strip gave way to nothingness. I
was falling. The previous day's track
results and box scores flew by. Slippery
Rock vs. Shippensburg. All panties and
bras one-half off. Dear Abby: Husband
vs. wife. Local news. Carter vs. Cuba.

Suddenly there was something solid
beneath my feet. I cautiously opened
one eye. A panorama littered with Mar-
shall amplifiers, sound reinforcement
equipment, and a drum kit lay before
me. "Welcome to the Royal Oak Music
Theater and Millenium recording ar-
See PLAYERS, Page 6
In Concert
DAN PEEK
Formerly of the
rock group
"America"
-OCT. 6-
7:30 PM, PIONEER HIGH
Sponsored by .ForC
Huron Valley YouthFo Christ

Triumph and Yipes
rock Royal Oak

MANN THEATRES OPENS FRIDAY
Fox VILLAGE VILLAGE 4
MAPLE VILLAGE SHOPPING CENTER
769-1300 4 BIG SCREENS
BARGAIN MATINEES DAILY. ADULTS $1.50, 1:00 PM til 2:00 PM
W yq r school
' a NEXT.?
( eNET? MATINEES
DAILY
,} f 1:15-3:00-4:40
6:20-8:15-10:05
SPECIAL
MIDNIGHT
'FRI & SAT
ONLY AT
12:00 MIDNIGHT
PG -Metrocolor(@) A NEW WORLD PICTURE
A temptingly tasteful comedy
for adults who can count.
BLAKE EDWARDS'
r - ":A'On yl PC URES RAet , 0 enoPictuesCompany
) U WARNER BROS 0 A Warne Co...n.n.Ca .ons Com.panAAllRgnt Reserved1
MATINEES DAILY FRI & SAT ONLY
1:15-3:20-5:20-7:30-9:45_11:45
- HAS NEVER GONE THIS FAR., MATINEES
JOSEPH BRENNER presentS DAILY
1:15.3:05
manneq~uin1:-35
EASTMANCOLOR 8:30-10:20
FRI &SAT ONLY 12:00 MIDNIGHT

'kIVEISITv 5MUSICAL GOCIETY presen tc

mmmhh

Prague Chamber Orchestra
,a -Ao

A
'I

Sunday, Oct7

i

! . A

m1

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