From The Vault: Picture Mommy Dead (1966)

“who hated Jessica enough to kill her “that” way?”

Picture Mommy Dead  1966

mommy

Susan Gordon plays Susan Shelley a demented child not unlike Jan Brady, just released from a convent/ institution run by nuns…where she’s been placed after suffering from the shock of seeing her mother, (the flamboyant Zsa Zsa Gabor) Jessica Flagmore Shelley be consumed by flames in her opulent bedroom.

zsazsagabor & Ameche Picture Mommy Dead

Don and Susan

Susan still traumatized by the haunting memories of her mother’s horrific death and surrounded by some of the creepiest toys in all tarnation, comes home to the palatial hearth with father Don Ameche as Edward Shelley and his new lusty, conniving second wife Francene played by sexy  Martha Hyer. Edward is so blinded by his desire for Francene that he’d sell out the whole estate contents and all to give his conspiring hussy all the money, vacations and furs she wants.

Francene starts sneaking around again with brother-in-law Anthony Flagmore played Maxwell Reed. Flagmore’s face has been charred from that fateful night when mommy went up in flames. His odd presence and faithfulness to his pet hawk, add an air of the macabre to the already heady script.

Picture Mommy Dead max reed

Martha and Susan older

The brazen couple plot to drive little Susan over the edge, while trying to get her to reveal the whereabouts of her mother’s missing diamond necklace.

This Grande Dame horror film is a little gem from the vintage 60s, by director Bert I Gordon, and also boasts a great supporting cast with, Wendell Corey, Signe Hasso and Anna Lee. It’s creepy, it’s campy and a wonderfully colorful psychosomatic romp. Cinematography by Ellsworth Fredericks, who was director of photography on Invasion of The Body Snatchers 1956 and the sublime Mister Buddwing 1966 which I’ll be writing about soon) The soundtrack includes The Hearse Song sung by Gordon‘The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out.’

Portrait of Mommy

picture-mommy-dead-lobby card

Hedy Lamarr gets passed over by Bert I. Gordon.

Hedy Lamarr

news clipping

“Through a Child’s Eyes You Will See Torment … Murder … And Flaming Passion!”

flames

Be nice to mother now!- MonsterGirl


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