This week, I cracked open my VHS of Carl Monson's Blood Legacy aka Will To Die from 1971.
Four heirs to their dead father's fortune must stay the night in his country mansion in order to collect. But will they live that long?
I saw a lot of other films in this movie. Obviously, the surviving the night gimmick recalls Bill Castle's House on Haunted Hill, but without all of his pageantry. I love John Carradine to death, but he's not Vincent Price. With it being a body count picture by nature – something that was still rare in the early seventies – I also thought of Dementia 13. Blood Legacy's use of colour may or may not have been influenced by Bava's seminal film Blood and Black Lace, but it's amusing to note that Bay of Blood was also released in 1971 – especially since both it and Legacy share similar endings. Oh, and I'm happy to report that the scene on the coverbox actually happened.
As for the movie, it's not too bad. I didn't mind watching a bunch of rich assholes get knocked off for eighty-plus minutes. It had a lot of weird asides that kept things interesting, like the character's love of leftover ham. They just kept going back to it even after they found the Sheriff's head in the fridge. Actually, they seemed to get over that pretty quickly.
The film's preoccupation with Johnny (Richard Davalos) and Leslie's (Brooke Mills) incestuous relationship was a bit gross though. I was sad when she got offed. Her doctor boyfriend (John Smith) let her out of his sight for a moment, and BAM. Dude! You had one job! The best was the estate's driver, Frank (John Russell). Now here's a guy who just didn't give a fuck. His many life lessons included such adages as, “cars are like women, Dan. You have to treat them with care if you expect them to function properly.” Then of course, there was the “lamp story.”
Spoiler! He still had it. It was in his bedroom. Meanwhile, the killer remained unseen. I have to say that they were pretty resourceful, switching from axe, to electricity, to gun to flesh eating(!) bees. Yes, you read that right. Despite its more disturbing predilections, Blood Legacy gives you a literal wink at the end to make sure you were aware it was supposed to be camp.