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The Legacy
cast: Sam Elliott, Katherine Ross, Roger Daltrey, and John Standing

director: Richard Marquand

100 minutes (18) 1979 widescreen ratio 16:9
Fremantle DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 4/10
reviewed by Emily Webb
Better known for featuring Sam Elliott's bare bottom than for its cinematic quality, The Legacy is an adequate attempt at horror post Omen and Exorcist. Written by Jimmy Sangster, a veteran of Hammer horror films, it should be better.

Real-life couple Sam Elliott (Hulk) and Katharine Ross (The Stepford Wives) play architects Maggie Walsh and Pete Danner who travel to the UK on an assignment (starring in this film together led to their eventual marriage). When they have a motorbike crash in the country, they are taken to a lavish country manor to recuperate by Jason Mountolive, a mysterious millionaire. The mystery deepens when it turns out that the other guests at the manor have been expecting them...

A mystery horror, The Legacy starts of with promise (a stately mansion, houseguests, a mysterious reason for them all being present) but sadly, degenerates. It is a bizarre 'old school' British horror that features an ex-Nazi, a spooky nurse and a mysterious and evil master of the house who turns out to be the devil. Richard Marquand made his feature film debut with this and then went on to direct The Return Of The Jedi, only to die shortly after its release.

Predictably, the houseguests are picked off one by one and it becomes clear that Maggie is wanted by the devil to fulfil a diabolic legacy. This film is also known as The Legacy Of Maggie Walsh (the edited TV version), which gives a fairly big clue as to who survives the carnage at the English manor. (Satisfyingly, an appalling Roger Daltrey dies when he chokes during a meal and fails to survive a gruesome tracheotomy.) Sam Elliott is particularly good looking (love that 'tash) and his nude shower scene is a highlight of the film, albeit unnecessary. The title song, Another Side Of Me, is performed by Kiki Dee and gives the film a suitably cheesy feel.

Overall, The Legacy is a disappointing film but there is enough to sustain viewer interest through the plot and atmosphere. There are a few action-packed scenes, including one where Maggie and Peter attempt to escape the estate on horse and this allows Sam Elliott to do what he does best: be a brawling, manly, cowboy-type of guy. The music accompanying the action is reminiscent of a Charlie's Angels episode.

DVD extras: original theatrical trailer.

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