Dear Dead Delilah

1972

Comedy / Crime / Horror / Thriller

0
IMDb Rating 5.4 10 403

murder ax grand guignol

Plot summary


Uploaded by: FREEMAN
August 23, 2022 at 10:49 AM

Director

Top cast

Michael Ansara as Morgan Charles
Agnes Moorehead as Delilah Charles
Will Geer as Roy Jurroe
720p.BLU
897.84 MB
1280*690
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 37 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by kevinolzak 8 / 10

Seen on Pittsburgh's Chiller Theater in 1977

1972's "Dear Dead Delilah" was a popular title during the television rounds of the late 70's, a regular on both Pittsburgh's Chiller Theater and Cleveland's Hoolihan and Big Chuck. Remembered chiefly as Agnes Moorehead's last feature film (though she had some TV roles plus a voice in 1973's "Charlotte's Web"), the former co-star of Bette Davis in 1964's "Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte" gets her own starring vehicle in a similar vein, but on a lower budget. Whereas the death of Bruce Dern in that film was shocking for its time, the violence in this 1972 follow up is far bloodier and more disturbing, a fitting finale for a decade of aging actresses in modern horrors. Like the Bette Davis characters in both "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" and "Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte," the Agnes Moorehead character, Delilah Charles, has lived her entire life in the service of her late father, in this case running a plantation in Tennessee called South Hall (shot on location by legendary Nashville songwriter Jack Clement, who never produced another feature). The eldest in a family of four siblings, Delilah has seemingly been at death's door for some time, and has gathered the rest of the clan for a reading of her will. Will Geer plays cousin Ray Jurroe, who almost married Delilah years before, Michael Ansara plays brother Morgan, a gambler about to be imprisoned on a $40,000 debt, Dennis Patrick plays brother Alonzo, a pathetic doctor who has also fallen on hard times, and Anne Meacham plays alcoholic equestrian sister Grace, who freely carries on with Richard (Robert Gentry) behind the back of his wife Ellen (Elizabeth Eis), Delilah's niece and trusted nurse for the past three years. Richard has been supplying heroin for sadly addicted Alonzo, and is also responsible for bringing in a reformed ax murderess, Luddy Dublin (Patricia Carmichael), who had served 30 years in an asylum after chopping up her abusive mother. While the family objects to Delilah's decision to leave the house and grounds to the state, they are especially mystified by her revelation that Poppa's mythical $600,000 not only exists, but is available for whoever finds it. One by one, the cast is killed off, occasionally in extremely gruesome fashion, and its always Luddy cleaning things up afterward, so no one among the household is even aware that there's a murderer in their midst (manservant Marshall simply disappears from the film). Noted horror author John Farris has very few movie credits, such as "When Michael Calls," a 1972 TV movie, and Brian De Palma's "The Fury," so it's something of a surprise that he would undertake to both write and direct this feature (the only one he ever directed), but his sharp dialogue, expertly delivered by a superb cast, makes the rather talky first half a real joy to watch. Agnes Moorehead delivers a wonderful performance confined to a wheelchair, a real tour de force of regal Southern hospitality, and her bitter confrontations with various family members are laced with sly humor. Dismissed in its time as a cheap Bette David knockoff, and further under appreciated today as just plain boring, the film's reputation is unlikely to improve with today's fast paced audiences. It aired four times on Pittsburgh's Chiller Theater, first on Nov 12 1977 (followed by second feature 1932's "The Mummy"), then solo appearances on Mar 1 1980, Feb 14 1981 (Happy Valentine's Day!), and July 24 1982.

Reviewed by Coventry 8 / 10

Hey there Delilah, what's it like to be demented!

This is one of the truly great low-budget American semi-exploitation movies of the 70's, comparable (talking purely in terms of quality and shock-value) with other forgotten gems like for example "Blood and Lace", "The House that Vanished", "The Evictors" and "The Town that Dreaded Sundown". They don't necessarily revolve on common themes or substances, but they all feature a genuinely unsettling atmosphere and convoluted story lines you can't possibly predict. You continuously feel that anything can happen in this type of movies, from the most absurd plot twists to the totally unanticipated death of a pivot character. "Dear Dead Delilah" (that title alone!!) opens with a magnificently sinister sequence, supposedly taking place in a godforsaken Tennessee town in the mid-forties. We see how an eerie-looking teenage girl rebels vocally against her mother because she can't go on a date with a boy, but then the camera moves away from her room and we notice how chopped off body parts of the mother are spread around the hallway and the mother lies dead in the bathroom. Several years later the young teenager from the intro, Luddy, is released from the mental institution before the opening credits appear on screen. Almost naturally, you then expect the rest of the film to handle about the now matured woman reverting back to her old murderous habits, but that's exactly where the wicked imagination of 70's horror scriptwriters kicks in. Through a series of coincidental events, Luddy ends up working as a nurse in an environment that is even more demented as her own past. The crazed, wheelchair-bound spinster Delilah takes her into her mansion, just when there's a family reunion taking place to discuss Delilah's inheritance. The mean-spirited woman reveals the family fortune of nearly $500.000 is hidden somewhere on the estate, and this obviously generates a large-scaled treasure hunt as well as a sardonic killing spree. Delilah's greedy and troubled siblings are all looking for the fortune, but encounter an axe-wielding maniac rather than a pile of money. Probably not intended for the eyes of nowadays horror crowds, but "Dear Dead Delilah" is a gloriously nostalgic gem with delightfully insane character drawings, unusual suspense and – most surprisingly – outrageously gory make-up effects. The film is extremely bloody with, for example, an explicit decapitation and someone getting shot in the head. The cast is terrific, with Agnes Moorehead as the crazed matriarch on top, and the ambiance is just … thoroughly creepy! Very much recommended!

Thank you, Mr. Vomitron, for your help in obtaining this purely gold gem.

Reviewed by Woodyanders 8 / 10

A nest of vipers get their just nasty desserts

Ailing miserly matriarch Delilah Charles (a deliciously wicked and formidable portrayal by Agnes Moorehead) lives on a large plantation estate. Her various greedy and back-stabbing siblings gather together to collect Delilah's sizeable inheritance only to get bumped off left and right by a mysterious axe-wielding killer.

Writer/director John Farris relates the absorbing and enjoyable story at a steady pace, adroitly crafts a brooding gloom-doom Southern gothic atmosphere, and presents a colorful array of seriously damaged and dysfunctional characters. Moreover, it's acted with aplomb by an able and enthusiastic cast: Will Geer as rascally lawyer Ray Jurroe, Michael Ansara as the slimy Morgan, Dennis Patrick as pathetic junkie Dr. Alonzo Charles, Anne Meacham as shrill alcoholic Grace, Robert Gentry as jerky hunk Richard, Patricia Carmichael as troubled housekeeper Luddy, Elizabeth Eis as fetching nurse Ellen, and Ruth Baker as the ditsy Buffy. The startling moments of graphic gore pack a vicious punch. A solid and satisfying little shocker.

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