The Weekend Murders (1970)
By guest writer Jim DiNolfo (You can see other fine examples of Jim’s commentary and reviews in our past Shlocktoberfests like: KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park, Fade to Black, Halloween, You’re Next, Bay of Blood, Tenebre and The New York Ripper.
What’s It About: The most English looking Giallo ever made, the film is a classic family-in-a-mansion murder mystery. A forgotten and rather silly Giallo, but it has a really satisfying ending when the murders are solved.
Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:
- I can’t decide if the establishing shot of the small town is a Python sketch or an old-school live action Disney flick.
- The penchant for every cast member to stare at each other begins as soon as we get to the golf course.
- When pitching out of a sand trap and your swing uncovers a dead body, do you get a mulligan?
- The main theme to this movie is an odd mash-up of the 1812 Overture, gunshots, and Piano Concerto No. 1 in B Flat Minor Op 23. Did Tchaikovsky demand royalties or something?
- Obviously no one told the ambulance driver to avoid the fairway and keep the meat wagon in the rough.
- Look, we paid the production costs for filming in the English countryside so we’re gonna shoot it.
- The butler is Major Gowen from “Fawlty Towers.” Cool.
- There are more facial fast focus shots in the first ten minutes of this movie than six Kung-Fu flicks combined.
- Aunt Gladys is a cunt.
- The way that Ted’s wife was filmed getting out of their car, I thought for sure meant a nude scene from her was in the near future.
- I’m almost certain Georgie was pulling his goalie while he was staring at Ted’s Wife.
- Georgie’s fake suicide prank because he wanted a shower instead of a bath is really taking things to the extreme in terms of personal hygiene options.
- By the way, the Constable is played by the guy who was Don Fanucci in Godfather II. I was so hoping during the will reading that he would ask if he could “wet his beak.”
- The will reading results: The Constable gets 200 Azalea plants, Gladys, Georgie, Larry and Ted get the family archives (a nice way of saying jack shit), Isabelle gets her mom’s personal effects, and Barbara gets the entire fortune as well as a bulls-eye on her chest.
- I really hate Georgie.
- Is it a bad thing when your own mother tells you to drop dead?
- When the fuck did greenhouse keepers get so ornery?
- Hiyo! The butler gets killed first. Take that murder-mystery-in-a-huge-mansion cliché.
- Inevitable “the butler did it”’ joke occurs two seconds later.
- OK, I’m really sick of this Tchaikovsky gunshot music.
- Snobby, know-it-all detective from Scotland Yard finally arrives. Thank Santa’s tits.
- If you find your butler murdered in the greenhouse, why would you go do some gardening to get your mind off it?
- Ah-ha, the old gun missing from the rack but the outline of it is still there routine.
- Have I mentioned yet that I really hate Georgie?
- There are actually some really impressive shots in this movie.
- An interloper is invited to stay for dinner. Yeah, that always works out well.
- Two murders so far and all these people want to do is watch Isabelle make out with the interloper guy out in the garden? Beats Parcheesi I suppose.
- I would pay a million dollars cash if I could Last-Action-Hero myself into this movie so I could kill Georgie slowly and painfully. Because I hate him.
- Ah-ha, the old black leather gloved hand cuts off all the power to the house routine.
- When answering the door in an ascot and declaring, “I say!’ The jury’s in on which team you pitch for.
- Holy sweet flying fuck, the Tchaikovsky music again.
- Georgie’s dead for real and the cops say fuck it let’s go home. Best ending ever.
Is It Actually Scary: Not really. Unless you suffer from vertigo, then all of the fast focus shots would probably make you bark sharks.
Scariest Moment: When we are treated to the most obvious Oedipal complex in the world between Georgie and his mother.
Most Disturbing Moment: See above. Especially when he makes the cinema’s sickest “O” face when she comforts him with a hug.
How Much Gore: Bloodiest scene is Georgie’s fake suicide joke, other than that very mild in the red red kroovy department.
Best Line: “Be on the lookout for a black woman with a white man with a black eye and a grey button missing.” Get it? Two parts black and one part white make grey. Nothing? Ok moving on then.
Best Scene: The Constable and the Inspector telling Georgie, who is lying dead on the ground with a knife in his chest, to knock it off and get up. Even in death I still hate him.
Worst Scene: The rather poor acting that occurs when everyone finds out that they got bupkiss from the will. Being screwed out of millions I would think would at least give the worst actor around decent motivation for the scene.
Any Nudity: We get to see Barabara’s hush-puppies as she dresses down for the evening, and we are severely teased by the maid (portrayed by the insanely hot Orchidea de Santis) to no avail.
Overall: Not a terrible Giallo, but of course not one of the best either. As I said earlier it does have a great payoff, and the deduction process by the Constable is actually quite impressive. All in all it’s a decent murder mystery where the revealed killer is pretty surprising, and there is a lot of elements to poke fun at. Obviously.
Score: 5 telescope/murder weapons (out of 10)