The Horror Honeys: MOWOW: Allan, Wouldn't You Be Better Off Dead?

MOWOW: Allan, Wouldn't You Be Better Off Dead?

A Movie of the Week of the Week with Revenge Honey Linnie!

How Awful About Allan (1970)

This week's MOWOW is a doozy, kids! Starring Anthony Perkins (Psycho), Julie Harris (The Haunting) and the beautiful Joan Hackett (The Twilight Zone), How Awful About Allan is the kind of TV movie that makes you long for the days when madness like this was a weekly event that brought the family together.

Seriously! Why don't families gather around the boob tube to watch Anthony Perkins movies together anymore? WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO, I ASK YOU?

Anyway, let's talk about how NOT awful How Awful About Allan is...

The Story: After a terrible house fire kills his father and permanently scars his sister Katherine, college professor Allan lands himself in a mental institution with a case of psychosomatic blindness. Eight months later, he emerges, still basically blind, and moves back in with his sister, still basically scarred. However, immediately after coming home, Allan becomes convinced a shadowy figure is trying to drive him mad once again. Is it Katherine's wayward ex-fiancé? Is Allan's extremely helpful friend Olive? Or is Allan truly losing his mind again? It's a movie of the week, people! It could be anyone!

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How Awful About Allan is effective as a suspense film on several different fronts. First, director Curtis Harrington made the interesting decision to put the viewer in Allan's position quite often throughout the film, meaning that more often than not, we are seeing the same blurry world that Allan sees. As such, we know just as little about what he's experiencing as he does. ARE those blurry shapes he's seeing just a form of madness? Or is he really being stalked? It could easily go either way and when the final reveal happens, it's pretty fantastic.

As is always the case with the best MOWs, the goofy material is elevated by the wonderful actors. Anthony Perkins was an actor tethered to one role, but far better than any one character, and he proves it again in Allan. Even when he has the right to go wide and act like a madman, he stays calm and measured, which makes the role that much more believable. Harris, on the other hand, is best known for her performances as quiet women of dignity, and in Allan, we get to see both the same, and a different side of her. I enjoyed all of it thoroughly.

How Awful About Allan is the best kind of MOW: one that could easily be a giant cheesefest, but instead offers a fun, tense, and utterly riveting dose of human drama. 

Revenge Honey Rating: 5 Sneaky Saboteurs out of 5

How Awful About Allan is available on Amazon Instant Video, DVD, and on YouTube!

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