Legacy, The (1978)

The Legacy (1978), directed by Richard Marquand.

After their motorcycle is wrecked an American couple traveling in Britain find themselves at a stately country house and witness no end of inexplicably weird and violent bizarrities. They can't get away, even when other guests are killed off one by one in gruesomely imaginative ways. Will all this eventually make any sense?

The big attraction is lovely Katharine Ross and studly Sam Elliott. They began dating during this film and married a few years later. The contrast of his unapologetic true West accent and persona against the refined manor house setting: it's just icing on the cake.

This is a women's romance novel venturing into light horror film territory. Rich high gloss settings, elegant fabrics and clothes, a female protagonist with hidden witchy powers. And her sexy boyfriend: the only nudity in the film is Elliott's backside as he steps into the shower. Motorcycle, horses, indoor pool, a complete set of servants: life can be good if you have the magic.

Plot incoherence and general ridiculousness is a problem.

Rock star Roger Daltrey, last seen in Lisztomania (1975), plays a music promoter. I guess I believe that.

Written by Jimmy Sangster, formerly a creative power at Hammer Films.

The light pop score is totally wrong unless you think of it as a girly thriller.

Available on Blu-ray from Shout Factory.