Stuff I Watch in October: Clue (1985)

Happy October and welcome! All 31 days this month, I will be reviewing all the films I watch in the month of October. They’re mostly a selection of horror or suspense films in my own library or films and shows that have been recommended to me.

Please enjoy and leave a comment!

And if you missed any of our past reflections, take a look:

The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
Psycho (1960)
The Haunting (1963)
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
The Other (1972)
The Legend of Hell House (1973)
Young Frankenstein (1974)
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
Halloween (1978)
Alien (1979)
The Shining (1980)
Halloween II (1981)
The Evil Dead (1981)
Halloween III – Season of the Witch (1982)
Ghostbusters (1984)
Teen Wolf (1985)
Aliens (1986)
Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
Predator (1987)
The Monster Squad (1987)
The Witches of Eastwick (1987)
The Lost Boys (1987)
Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn (1987)
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)
They Live (1988)
Beetlejuice (1988)
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)
Ghostbusters II (1989)
Predator 2 (1990)
The Addams Family (1991)
Alien 3 (1992)
Army of Darkness (1992)
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
The Crow (1994)
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)
From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
Scream (1996)
Alien: Resurrection (1997)
Scream 2 (1997)
Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)
The Sixth Sense (1999)
What Lies Beneath (2000)
Scream 3 (2000)
28 Days Later (2002)
Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)
The Ring (2002)
Halloween: Resurrection (2002)
Identity (2003)
AVP: Alien vs Predator (2004)
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Snakes on a Plane (2006)
Alien vs Predator: Requiem (2007)
Halloween (2007)
Grindhouse (2007)
Halloween II (2009)
Predators (2010)
Absentia (2011)
Prometheus (2012)
The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
Escape From Tomorrow (2013)
Oculus (2013)
Before I Wake (2016)
Hush (2016)
Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016)
Alien: Covenant (2017)
Happy Death Day (2017)
Get Out (2017)
Gerald’s Game (2017)
The Predator (2018)
The Haunting of Hill House (2018)
Halloween (2018)
A Quiet Place (2018)
Happy Death Day 2U (2019)
Us (2019)
Ready or Not (2019)
Doctor Sleep (2019)
The Invisible Man (2020)
The Haunting of Bly Manor (2020)
Willy’s Wonderland (2021)
Army of the Dead (2021)
Midnight Mass (2021)
Duel (1971)

Our next film is…

WATCHING: Clue (1985)

clue

DIRECTOR: Jonathan Lynn, who directed this film, My Cousin Vinny, and The Whole Nine Yards. Outside those three films (and a couple of successful novels), everything else he put up on screen just about flopped, which is a shame.

WHAT IS IT?: Clue is wonderfully quirky (and quick-witted) comedy-mystery with an outstanding script and great cast.

THE PLOT: Seven guests, Colonel Mustard (Martin Mull), Mrs. White (Madeline Khan), Ms. Scarlet (Lesley Ann Warren), Mr. Green (Michael McKean), Mrs. Peacock (Eileen Brennan), and Professor Plum (Christopher Lloyd), and Mr. Boddy (Lee Ving) arrive at a large, creepy-looking mansion under the impression that they’re attending a dinner party — and to finally resolve various personal matters they’ve been getting blackmailed for.

With the house’s butler, Wadsworth (Tim Curry), mediating everything, it appears everyone will be free of their burdens — until Wadsworth tells everyone that Mr. Boddy is the blackmailer, which upsets the six other guests. Before things fly out of control, Mr. Boddy presents each of the six with a different gift: a candlestick, a noose, a dagger, a revolver, a lead pipe, and a wrench. He tells one of the guests to use one of the weapons and kill Wadsworth, then turns out the lights — but it’s Boddy who winds up dead…and the six other guests try to piece together who murdered him and how.

WHAT DID CRITICS THINK?: Initially, the film received mixed to negative reviews, with critics calling the film “uninteresting”, “long-winded” and “gimmicky”. More on that last one in a minute.

WHAT DID I THINK?: I, for one, disagree with the critics. Clue is one of those films where EVERYTHING works: the mystery theater setting, the quick-witted Neil Simon-esque script, the performances by every single actor involved…everything here is absolute perfection and the entire thing is anchored by Tim Curry who was at his absolute BEST.

The first time I saw it, my late grandmother of all people rented it for us because she was a huge fan of murder mysteries and I still remember her sitting in her chair, laughing at the jokes and one-liners.

The big gimmick of Clue was that the film had three different endings — and the ending you saw depended largely on the theater you saw the film in. I get the feeling that the idea was “too hip for the room”, so to speak because, when it debuted in theaters, it was written off.

Everyone calls this a “cult film” but I’m not sure if I know a single soul who’s seen this and said they disliked it in any way. The ones who say they’ve seen and liked it but thought that Neil Simon’s Murder By Death was better…no.

Clue is far better than Murder By Death and I look forward to watching it each and every year.

GRADE: A-

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