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Ruby (1977, Piper Laurie, Stuart Whitman)

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PIPER LAURIE builds on her success in the psychic chiller Carrie with a supernatural thriller combining murder, possession spirits from beyond the grave.

Laurie is the somewhat down-at-heel proprietess of a drive-in movie theatre. With her deaf-mute daughter (JANIT BALDWIN) and a loyal – if eccentric – staff, she eeks out a meagre living. However, Laurie and her staff are hiding a dark secret in their past. Some 16 years before, Laurie had been the moll of the gangster who fathered Baldwin. Unfortunately, a member of his gang sold him out to the opposition and he was gunned down by his enemies.

Unbeknown to everyone, his villainous spirit has returned and is determined to extract a grisly vengeance on those members of the gang who were anything less than totally loyal. To affect his goal, the unpleasant ghost has possessed the body of his daughter and embarks on a grisly spree of getting even. To this end a concession holder at the cinema is fully slain in the process of being pushed into a cola machine and a projectionist is merrily hanged with a strip of celluloid. Moreover, to provide a hint of the situation, Baldwin’s face is from time to time riddled with bullet holes. Into this melange is introduced Professor of Paranormal Studies ROGER DAVIS and the race is on to discover the cause for all these supernatural slayings before gang warfare from the other side of mortality gets out of hand…

Fans of film trivia should note that although the film is set in 1951, the drive-in is showing The Attack Of The 50ft Woman , which was actually released in 1958. The film started under the direction of Curtis Harrington, but production difficulties ensued and before the film was finished he was replaced with Stephanie Rothman.

production details
USA | 85 minutes | 1977

Director: Curtis Harrington
Writers: George Edwards, Barry Schneider

cast
Piper Laurie as Ruby
Stuart Whitman as Vince
Janit Baldwin as Leslie
Roger Davis as Dr. Paul Keller
Crystin Sinclaire as Lila June
Paul Kent as Louie
Len Lesser as Barney
Jack Perkins as Avery
Eddy Donno as Jess (as Edward Donno)
Sal Vecchio as Nicky Rocco
Fred Kohler Jr. as Jake Miller (as Fred Kohler)
Michael Alldredge as Sheriff’s Wife’s Date
Allison Hayes as The Fifty-Foot Woman (archive footage)

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