Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Movies with Geraud: The Other (1972)




"There were others. Now, there is only THE OTHER."

Dum dum dummmmmmmmmmmmmm


This movie is old as shit, and by that I mean almost as old as me. Let me set the stage: the lights are out. It's nearly midnight. The cool dog is lying at my feet. The other dog is in with TheWife. TheWife has gone to bed. By "gone to bed" I mean she has her noise cancelling headphones on and is binge watching Sons of Anarchy. Somehow she still manages to sleep well. 

[Editor's Note: You are about to watch The Other. With the lights out. At midnight. Hypocrite. --TheWife]

If you haven't seen the trailer, here it is:


I have my pjs on. They are red and black checked with a T-shirt that reads "Trust me, I'm a superhero!" I have on the most comfortable slippers ever. And, because this isn't quite Bridget Jones enough for me, I am also drinking a raspberry flavored coffee with one-and-a-half sugars in it. 

I am man. Hear me roar.

The movie starts and it starts with whistling. Hell yeah! Whistling on a black screen is the very definition of "creepy." Unfortunately, it goes to some very high pitched flute and violin thing that make me think I'm about to watch a movie with Ryan O'Neal in it. I sigh. This might not be as good as I hoped.

The movie starts like all movies from the 70's. We spend about 2 full minutes with a panorama shot of some woods. Finally we see a little kid looking at a ring like he's waiting for a genie to pop out of it. Or like it might turn him into Ryan Reynolds. I suspect this ring is going to have some significance.

Then the whistling starts again. The kid runs and hides in a barrel. Good move, kid! No one would think to look for you in the one barrel in this whole forest! 

Unfortunately we are both wrong! The kid's twin brother finds him! A five minute game of chase begins with the two brothers. It's fun to watch because the kids have the athletic prowess of Gummi Bears. They bop and shimmy their way through the woods like they were doing the Humpty Dance. I start humming The Humpty Dance in my head as they run around. So far, this is the best movie I've ever seen.

Eventually they get into some shenanigans. Holland and Niles need to show us which one is the good and which one is the bad. Niles keeps a nervous eye out at a barn door while Holland breaks a pickle jar. These kids are BAD NEWS! The maid, or their grandma, or maybe a farmhand, hears it and charges in after the boys. She grabs Niles, calls him Holland by mistake and starts giving him a helluva switching! She is dragging him back into the barn to clean up when she sees two rats eating the spilled pickles. She flips her shit!

Now, I saw Psycho. I know the 70s were more frightening than two rats eating pickles. But you'd think this was the most terrifying thing since the second Darrin. 

Fast forward to...John Ritter?? Holy shit, he's so young. And alive. He says about 3 lines while we watch Niles eat and set up the backstory: Sick mom, maid, harpy old aunt, living John Ritter, and a very sweet Niles. Where the hell is Holland? This is suspicious.
Ah, there he is. He's hiding in the barn in the dark. The two boy chat and we get some more back story. Good. I was worried that I didn't know enough about the world they lived in!

That ring we saw earlier was grandfather's ring, then father's. Father died, Holland got it because he's the oldest (but only by 20 minutes) and he gave it to Niles. Phew! Glad we got that shit covered. It was killing me!

More importantly, there's something wrapped in a blue hanky that Holland also gave to Niles. They won't tell us what it is. It's small and sort of long. I suspect it is an old wrench. Maybe the handle of an old pot. Oooh, I know! It's a tiny Tabasco bottle!

Whatever it is, the boys get busted! They "ain't supposed to be playing in [that] old barn" and some snotty Dudley-type kid is threatening to narc on the boys. Well, boy. Holland manages to hide. This kid is a total ninja. Stupid Niles just stands there and gets caught with his ring and his blue-hanky-mystery-object. I think it might be an old fish.  

We're up to 20 minutes. In that time: 
   Holland kills a rat.
   Niles gets a flashback.
   Mom comes out to breathe some fresh air. Wow-ya! Momma's hot.
   Niles and his babushka play the Great Game, which consists of mind raping a crow. But we get some foreshadowing. Something about a pitchfork, a hay and some pain in your chest. Hmmmm...

Did I mention that mom is a stone cold fox? Is that proper 70's vernacular?


A few minutes later, we see that little Dudley kid is playing king of the mountain. He climbs to the top of the barn and jumps into a pile of hay. We've seen him do it before. I didn't care about it then and I don't care about it...

Oh shit!! That kid just jumped and landed on a goddamned pitchfork! Where the hell did that come...Ahhhhh, the crow dream. That's some Game of Thrones shit right there. And sure enough, that little snot-nosed bastard is as dead as Tony Danza.

[Editors Note: Tony Danza is not dead.]

That's either a pitchfork about to kill an innocent child or Wolverine hiding
in a haunted corn maze.


Everyone is off to the funeral and Niles is in his room. He's about to unwrap that blue-hanky-mystery-object. I'm betting it's some kind of jerky. Maybe...

Ewwwww!! It's an old finger! Gross!

Babushka tells Niles to tell Holland to apologize about those damned pickles. So, Holland goes over to the old lady's house dressed as a magician. He gives her the pickles and is performing a magic trick. He takes off his hat and is about to pull something out of it. 

"Is it a rabbit?"

"No," says Holland. "Guess again." Then...voila! Rat!

The old lady dies of a heart attack. 

This Holland is a little bastard. No wonder no one other than Niles ever talks to h....ooohhhhhh.

The old lady is apparently dead for a week before anyone notices. But they notice the smell. "Oy, the smell!" Babushka takes Niles over there to find out what's up and BOOM! Dead old lady! Niles runs back to get help. He runs like she swapped legs with a zombie.  It's painful to watch. 

Fast forward. Apparently hot mom has found the tin with the ring and the nasty finger in it. The boys plot to take it back. Hot mom is outside crying. Niles, the sweet one, goes out to console her. He takes her up the stairs and then confronts her about the tin. She's holding the ring and wants to know how he's come to have it. There is no way this bodes well. 

We find out some key facts. Holland gave the ring to Niles. Hot Mom is surprised by this revelation. She asks when. Niles says in March, after their birthdays. This makes Hot Mom's eyes go insanely wide! Something isn't adding up here.

This has become the foundation for every actor whose motivation is:
"Someone is saying some shit that doesn't add up!"

Then, Holland pops out and screams "I gave him the ring!" He and Hot Mom wrestle and...wait a minute. I thought I had this figured out. How the hell can...

Eh, there she goes. Mom goes tumbling down the stairs, being sure to hit every flower pot on the way down. Niles goes running down the stairs calling for babushka. Where the hell is Holla...ahhhhhhh!

Hot Mom is confined to a wheel chair and apparently can no longer talk. So much for someone to explain what the hell is happening!

Babushka makes Niles admit to what's happened, including the old dead woman. Niles says Holland is bad, but he doesn't want to be. He tries to do the right thing, but he can't help it. Babushka's like, "fuck this!" She snatches Niles by the arm and drags him to a graveyard. She makes Niles play the Great Game with her, and then he looks at a headstone and spends approximately 3 minutes describing a decaying corpse. And then, the great reveal!

First...

If you don't like spoilers you should stop reading this now. I'm about to blow your goddamned mind. You might think you have this figured out, but trust me. You don't. There's no way you could. Sherlock Holmes couldn't have figured this out. By that, I mean the Robert Downey Jr version. I'm sure the Benjamin Cumberbatch version could have figured it out, but he's an evil genius.

[Editor's Note: There were books before the movies. Please read the books.]

Take a deep breath. Here comes the reveal...


Bitch, it's HOLLAND'S GRAVE!! That fucker is dead! He died right on his birthday!

Jibba-whuuuuuuuuu?

I did not see that coming!
I also don't know how big metal bird fly in air.


Flashback: Holland is about to throw a cat down the well. The cat turns the tables and, like that chick from The Ring, Holland finds himself at the bottom of the well. But he's dead. You can tell because he has wonky leg. No one lives when they have wonky leg. And we find out it's not daddy's finger. It's Holland's. Niles cut that shit off with some garden shears. Gross!

There's 30 minutes left. I'm pretty sure we have everything covered. But, there must be something else. I hunker down for the finale of this movie.

His step sister brings home a daughter, the groundskeeper gets drunk, a storm is a-brewing, and Hot Mom cries...

...and then someone takes the baby!! They think it's the old crazy groundskeeper. We know better, don't we?

A search party gets called in. Dogs, dudes, church people, Niles closes himself in the barn. He starts calling, "Holland! Where is the baby?" Over and over again. I think, "why the hell would THAT be the tag line of the movie? Why put that in the commercial? Talk about spoilers!

Sure enough, they find the baby. It's a very Se7en moment. Some guy named George brings in a barrel from the old groundskeeper shed. It's still closed up, so apparently George is just guessing at this point. He must have called Derren Brown or something, though, because he is spot on! We find the baby. The baby is in a barrel submerged under water or wine or pickle juice. I don't what the fuck that is, but I also can't believe they showed it! That's fucking baby hair floating at the top of that barrel. You don't show that kind of business NOW, in 2015!!

I get teary. George has the best "I just found a dead baby" face in the history of movies.

I feel your pain, George. I, too, am appalled and grossed out!


Holland/Niles has killed the baby. He's in the barn talking to himself. Babushka knows what happened. She goes in, gets the confession and decides to take care of things once and for all. She dumps gas all over the barn while Niles/Holland is in the cellar. He thinks she's an angel. Then, he smells that gas. You know what's about to happen when someone starts dumping gas on you. She's about to set his little ass on fire and he knows it!

In one last twist, instead of lighting and and running (like I would have done) she actually spreads her arms and jumps down into the barn's cellar with Niles/Holland and WHOOOSH!!! 

Everyone goes up in a blaze of glory. Cue the end credi...wait. What's this?

Hark! What is this mysterious lock doing here in the remains? Has someone escaped?

The movie ends with Niles/Holland looking out the window as some guys clean up the burned up barn.

Dum dum duuummmmmmmmmmmmmm!


Wow. That was awesome! Hopefully you watched it with me. This was a good date, right? Let's do it again soon! I won't even try to put my hand on your knee.

Now, let's keep our fingers crossed that Hollywood is working on a remake. Maybe starring Gillian Anderson as Hot Mom and one of these Cagney and Lacey chicks as babushka. I'm sure there's another Fanning kid in the mix somewhere to be Niles/Holland. And that dead baby can be played by Flav-A Flav.

G

2 comments:

  1. As a side note "hot mom"
    went on the play Dr Pulaski on Star Trek The Next Generation.

    ReplyDelete
  2. There actually was a made-for-tv remake of this in the 90's.

    ReplyDelete