LET'S KILL UNCLE
In I believe 1971 or maybe a bit earlier, William Castle made a movie called LET'S KILL UNCLE. Castle made other movies before this, mostly in the horror genre. These include classic cult movies THE TINGLER, 13 GHOSTS (both versions of this are wondeful!), HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL (only the first one is GREAT, the old old one), and others. Many of his movies had In-your-seat gimmicks, like flying skeletons in the movie house (HAUNTED) or tingling seats (TINGLER) or 3d glasses that made you see the ghosts (13 GHOSTS) but his later and possibly last movie was a strange bird.
LET'S KILL UNCLE seems to star lookalike Mike Henry clone as a cop who is escorting the boy hero played by Pat Cardi, Barnaby. To an island where he will meet his long unseen uncle Kevin, a military man played by Nigel Green (WOULDN'T HE MAKE A GOOD DOCTOR WHO?). On the island there is an old run down hotel and a small house owned by a nice woman named Justine. Justine's niece Chrissy came to the island on the same boat that brought Barnaby and the cop.
Anyway this offbeat movie seems to play on dark comedy, irony, and strange games as the uncle seems to want to kill the nephew for his inheritance. Barnaby's parents or rather his father was killed in a car accident, which in itself was suspicious to some...but that aspect is never played upon. Is the uncle really trying to kill them? Or is he trying to teach the kids a lesson as Chrissy is drawn into the deadly games played by Barnaby and Kevin, the uncle seemingly having roots to the organization as old as the Mafia and the Japanese Triad.
Hynotism, fires, a deadly spider, a strange mutitltated caretaker, and a SHARK IN A SWIMMING POOL all add to the fun and games and danger. The music is standard UNIVERSAL music used in other movies notably CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON and possibly IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE...to good effect.
Nigel is a hoot in every scene, the boy Pat Cardi, who's been in THE FUGITIVE is engaging if irritating at the right times. Chrissy can be really really annoying but if you take it from where it comes..a neglected kid...you being to understand. The charater interplay and background is great.
The only flaw the movie has is the ending. It's a bit of a let down but understandable too. I wish that was not done that way but whatever.
In the 1970s this movie was played over and over and over again on some stations in NY. It's a good, strange movie that doesn't dissapoint until the very end and even then, one can overlook that for it's unusual nature and fun. Or maybe I'm just fond of it because it was part of my childhood...