Dominique (1978)

dominique

‘A story of the macabre… with a different twist.’

Dominique – aka Dominique is Dead – is a 1978 British horror mystery film directed by Michael Anderson (Murder By Phone; Orca) from a screenplay by Edward and Valerie Abraham. The film is based on the 1948 short story What Beckoning Ghost by Harold Lawlor. It was produced by Andrew Donally and Milton Subotsky (Amicus films and The Monster Club).

Main cast:

Cliff Robertson (13th Child; The Twilight Zone: ‘The Dummy’), Jean Simmons, Jenny Agutter (Child’s Play 2; The SurvivorAn American Werewolf in London), Simon Ward (The Monster ClubDeadly Strangers), Ron Moody (Legend of the Werewolf), Judy Geeson (31; Inseminoid; 10 Rillington Place), Michael Jayston (Jack the Ripper 1988; Craze; Tales That Witness Madness), Flora Robson (The Beast in the Cellar; The Shuttered Room), David Tomlinson (City in the Sea), Jack Warner (The Quatermass Xperiment).

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Plot:

Greedy David Ballard (Cliff Robertson) wants to get the money of his wife Dominique (Jean Simmons), so he attempts to drive her insane. He succeeds and she hangs herself, only to come back to haunt him from the afterlife…

Reviews:

“By far the film’s biggest problem is that it feels like a 50 or 60 minute script has been dragged and stretched to, and beyond, breaking point to more than 90 minutes that feel significantly longer. The sheer amount of time spent watching characters walk around the house is staggering and, most of the time, incredibly dull.” Andrew Garvey, The Spooky Isles

“Produced by the mediocre Milton Subotsky and directed by the fair-to-middling Michael Anderson … you might want to pump up the volume a bit and turn down the colour – there’s a lot of whispering and more harsh lighting than a high school rock eisteddfod.” Nigel Honeybone, HorrorNews.net

Dominique is a particularly disappointing failure because visually it is occasionally extremely impressive with some gorgeous lighting and assured photography. It looks great, but it is a mortifyingly dull experience in every other regard.” Harvey Fenton, Ten Years of Terror

Ten Years of Terror FAB Press book Harvey Fenton David Flint

Buy: Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk

” …the use of luckless British characters actors in stock roles (Robson as the housekeeper, Ward as the ambiguous chauffeur) only serves to underline the lack of effective detail which might have served, as in Les Diaboliques (1955), to offset the essential contrivance of the storyline.” The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror

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“A sluggish British attempt at a ghost yarn not helped by wooden acting and interminable use of the “let’s make it look like night” blue lens filter. The twist at the end is entirely predictable in this tedious effort.” John Elliott, Elliott’s Guide to Films on Video

“The old Diabolique syndrome revamped in a very parismonious production with little to hold the interest.” Leslie Halliwell, Halliwell’s Film Guide

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Buy novelisation: Amazon.co.uk

Cast and characters:

Wikipedia | IMDb | Image credit: VHS Collector

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Categories: 1970s, adaptation of a short story, British, ghost

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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