HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Armitage III: Polymatrix
Girls NIte Out
Moxie!
Five Women for the Killer
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
Mandabi
Seance
Green Knight, The
Beasts of No Nation
One of Our Aircraft is Missing
Picture Stories
Another Round
Tape, The
Limbo
Supernova
Man Who Sold His Skin, The
Sweetheart
   
 
Newest Articles
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
   
 
  Black Widow Come Into Her Parlour
Year: 1987
Director: Bob Rafelson
Stars: Debra Winger, Theresa Russell, Sami Frey, Dennis Hopper, Nicol Williamson, Terry O'Quinn, James Hong, Diane Ladd, D.W. Moffett, Lois Smith, Leo Rossi, Danny Kamekona, Rutanya Alda, Mary Woronov, Wayne Heffley, Raleigh Bond
Genre: Drama, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Catharine (Theresa Russell), if that is her real name, has just suffered a bereavement, as her husband has died. He was a very rich man and has left her a substantial amount in his will, but when she gets back to the mansion they shared she heads straight for the whisky decanter and pours its contents down the bathroom sink, then washes the container out - could there have been something in it other than alcohol that she did not want others to find out about? Her husband was supposed to have died peacefully in his sleep, but was there more to it? Catharine tells his family that she is going off to Europe for a while to get away from it all, but after a short amount of time they do not hear from her. Could this be down to her remarriage?

Black Widow was not a huge success when it was initially released, but it has gone on to find an audience on television and on home video formats, possibly because its central relationship was so intriguing. Not the ones between Catharine and her husbands, but between her and the federal investigator who is tracking her down, having suspected something is amiss when she realises that two millionaires passing away from the same cause in such a short passage of time might just be suspicious. She was Alexandra and played by Debra Winger, who had originally been earmarked to play Catharine but she preferred what to her was the more interesting and understandable role, though she did stipulate if Russell didn't play her rival she would not do the movie.

This demonstrated some canny casting abilities for Winger, who after a while in her career became better known for the films she turned down than the ones she actually took up, for the dynamic between the two characters provided the most electricity in the story. It was a while before they met in the course of Alexandra's sleuthing, so we could establish that she was living a thwarted existence working in a desk job for the government and never going out on dates - her boss (Terry O'Quinn) wakes her up to her cowed lifestyle, and even makes moves towards romancing her, but she's either not interested or not able to form a relationship with her psychology being what it was at that point in time.

However, this was not really a psychological yarn, or if it was Ronald Bass's screenplay played its cards very close to its chest, which was the motive behind its fans' fascination with it. Precisely what was the connection between Catharine and Alexandra besides hunter and hunted? Was there an attraction, and if so what form did it take? There were coy hints that there may be a sexual angle in their regard for one another as Alexandra inveigles her way into Catharine's life, she having already done away with three rich husbands and moving onto number four, Paul (Sami Frey) at a resort where he has been planning a new hotel near a volcano... cue a scene where Frey and Russell visit an actual volcano which while visually impressive also begs the question, who could sleep when that roaring racket was going on outside the window?

Anyway, we're supposed to think it's cool in a how the other half live kind of way, but Alexandra approaches Catharine when they are at a scuba diving class held by Mary Woronov (!) - there was quite a cast here, with Dennis Hopper and Nicol Williamson among the widow’s husbands, for example, barely there when the leading ladies were the focus. Catharine twigs that she is being investigated fairly quickly, but continues to see Alexandra for yet more reasons that are unclear, probably because she thinks she can frame her for murder to get her out of the way, yet also thanks to a curious feeling of flattery when the dowdier woman so patently covets the wealthy experiences that the more capable woman has such easy access to. You get the idea, you were always trying to read whatever was going on in these two characters' heads and not always working it out, so while Winger was perhaps too forceful a personality to be essaying the role of a bookish wallflower, Russell was for once very well cast in a part she could genuinely get to grips with away from her artier movies. Black Widow was far too leisurely for a thriller, but it did get under your skin. Music by Michael Small.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2131 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: