Director – Curtis Harrington (The Twilight Zone, Queen of Blood)
Starring – Piper Laurie (Carrie, The Dead Girl), Stuart Whitman (Night of the Lepus, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters), and Roger Davis (House of Dark Shadows, Beyond the Pale)
Release Date – 1977
Rating – 2.5/5
Blu Release – 3/5
Tagline – “Christened in blood. Raised in sin. She’s sweet sixteen, let the PARTY begin”
Success always spawns imitation and this especially rings true in the movie business. Anytime a movie makes money you can expect to see several imitations. In 1973 the infamous horror classic The Exorcist was released and has since been praised as the scariest horror film ever released. In 1973 I would agree with that but there has been several dozen films since then that deserve that title.
When it was released in 1973 it spawned several imitations. One of those was released in 1977. Director Curtis Harrington released Ruby and received a luke warm welcome. Since then it has gained a cult following and recently VCI Entertainment released the film on blu. I was lucky enough to get a review copy.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows a former singer Ruby (Laurie) who lives with her mute sixteen year old, her invalid former lover, and her caretaker when a series of murders breaks out at their drive-in theater. They bring in a doctor to investigate. He is a psychic and senses a dark presence from Ruby’s past is stalking her. When her daughter starts acting strangely they realize that her father, the now dead gangster, has possessed her and will stop at nothing to get Ruby back.**Spoiler Alert**
I was looking forward to checking this one out. When I received the blu I was really intrigued by the cover art. I’m an avid movie collector and I love when a blu release uses the original artwork or a variant of it. The new artwork that companies like Scream Factory use is cool but I will always go with the original. Sadly, the film wasn’t as fun as the artwork.
The acting in this one was very stiff. The cast is very uptight and their performances miss their marks. Their characters are not that entertaining and they act as if they are not invested in the film.
The story for this one feels like two films spliced together. The murders at the drive-in almost flows like a slasher. It almost had that Drive-In Massacre vibe. We then flip to the story following Ruby which is heavily paranormal and The Exorcist inspired. Combined, these two stories do not work that well. It makes the film feel clunky and uneven.
Finally, the film does have a few deaths but they are very lackluster. They take place off camera for the most part and we get some of the cheapest effects possible. These are easily forgettable. Overall, Ruby is the Great Value of possession films. It is easily forgettable with no replay value. This is one movie I cannot recommend.