The Sentinel (1977)

Nudity:  Moderately low
    Gore:  Moderate
       Body count:  Two, not including ghosts

Review after the jump.

The Sentinel is somewhat diverse in it's storyline: at first it will have you thinking it's just a story about a haunted house, but before long, you'll realize this movie has more in common with Rosemary's Baby than The Amityville Horror.

Unlike the aforementioned movies, The Sentinel gives a pretty healthy does of gore for a big-budget Hollywood movie (for it's time, at least).  We get some nice shots of an eyeball being gauged out and a nose being sliced off, among others that I won't give away.

Spare some sugar?

This movie does have some small areas where it slows down a little bit, but never so much that the viewer can lose interest.  These slow periods also advance the story, rather than fill in the gaps (unlike Italian counterparts of the time).

The climax of the film was pretty much out of right field and a bit too much of a ripoff of a certain 1932 horror film which exploited unfortunately deformed people.  But, this is not to say that it doesn't work.  Just sort of felt like they were unsure as to how to wrap up the story.

It's not fair - I had all the time in the world!

Possibly my favorite aspect of this movie is the ensemble of awesome actors brought together, some of them being new to the movie scene.  We've got Burgess Meredith from the Rocky films and some of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes, among a plethora of other works.  Then there's some actors who don't need any introductions: Jeff Goldblume, Beverly D'Angelo, Christopher Walken, and Chris Sarandon.  We also have John Carradine from Monster In The Closet and many crappy horror movies, as well as some Westerns.  Eva Gardner of Earthquake and various old MGM films.  Finally, there are two cool cameos by Tom Berenger of Platoon and Major League, and William Hickey of Christmas Vacation, Tales From The Darkside The Movie, and The Puppet Master.

I know a large portion of this review was just me naming the actors, but it's really worth watching to see all of them in a movie together, alone.  Besides that, this is a pretty good, albeit not very unique, 1970's horror film.  In this movie you can see the route horror was starting to take, moving itself toward the masterpiece era of the 80's.

7 out of 10.

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