Thursday, May 26, 2011

Shelly Winters in Whoever Slew Auntie Roo (1971)

Obscurity factor: 7

With the last two posts (What's the Matter with Helen and Whatever Happened to Aunt Alice) could you doubt that this one was next? Rosie Forrest lives in a big mansion not far from an orphanage. She's something of a benefactress to the orphans, inviting 10 of the best behaved to a Christmas party every year. Unfortunately, she's also a bit off her rocker, keeping and "caring for" the mummified corpse of her daughter in a crib in the attic. When two of the more lively children from the orphanage sneak into the party, Auntie Roo is struck by how closely the girl resembles her dearly departed daughter. She kidnaps her and her mischievous brother become suspicious. When he, too gets kidnapped by Rosie, they begin to discover the depth of Auntie Roo's dementia.
This film was directed by Curtis Harrington, at the request of Winters because of the rapport they had on What's The Matter with Helen. Look for Ralph Richardson playing a faux psychic.

This film is available on DVD in a double feature collection with What Ever Happened to Helen. It can also be seen in full on YouTube, but the uploader has disabled embedding. Click this link to watch. The trailer is above, uploaded by cassandracollins. The poster above is available from

Obscurity factor: 7 (available on DVD and YouTube, largely unknown outside of cult circles)

1 comment:

  1. Curtis Harrington is one of my all-time favorites (have you seen GAMES? THE KILLING KIND? NIGHT TIDE?). I wanted to jump into the end of this movie and spring to Shelley's aid.

    This is also one of the top "dusty, neglected, unloved toys" movies of all time. (Why do acts of cinematic violence toward people leave me cold, while scenes of abused animals or a broken doll send me into hysterical screaming fits? I'm sure I'm not the only one...)