Traumafessions :: Eric a.k.a. FilmFather on the Legacy

The setting: A gathering at my aunt’s house, circa 1979 (I’d be about 10). As I walk through an empty living room, I come across THE LEGACY playing on the TV (HBO, I guess). It’s a rather weak horror film about 6 people drawn to an old British mansion where they are killed off one by one by nasty deaths: a swimmer drowns when the pool won’t “let” her resurface, a man’s shotgun backfires in his face, etc.

But the death I stumbled onto that fateful evening was a Trauma-Scene in three parts: First, the older man of the group in the mansion dies when the fireplace near him blows a gust of flame that consumes his body. Then, we see one of the mansion’s workers dump a bag of the man’s steaming, charred remains on the grounds outside. And then, after SAM ELLIOT (I think) escapes a pack of rottweilers chasing him on the mansion grounds, the dogs double back and EAT THE REMAINS OF THE MAN in sloppy, gnawing, big-dog chomps.

Thanks for letting me get that out.

UNK SEZ: Eric Thanks for that traumafession. You are correct that was SAM ELLIOT running away from those dastardly pooches! I myself will always remember the T.V. ad for THE LEGACY which showed a creepy old hand coming out from behind a curtain in a sick room and forcing a ring on KATHERINE ROSS‘ finger! You’re right though, the movie as a whole is a bit dry and lackluster. No matter, as long as it has at least one trauma-scene that’s good enough for us and you found several! By the by folks, Eric’s blog FilmFather is a great resource for dad’s looking to make sure their own kids don’t get too traumatized by what they watch (Hey wait a minute, should we really support that?!!). Check out FilmFather HERE.

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J.A. 1969
13 years ago

I completely remember the T.V. ad for “The Legacy”
and that ragged, bony old hag’s hand shooting out through the white lace curtain, forcing the rather garish looking mood ring on Katherine Ross’ finger upset me very much.  I think that ad is the reason why old and wrinkled white women scare the beezulbub outta me to this day.  I tried to watch that
film once.  It sucked.

13 years ago

This was on TV when I was a kid and I watched it with my Mom. It scared the Hell out of me! To this day I don’t like putting my head underwater in a pool….I am sure I’ll come up to find the surface has been evilly turned to glass!
I also remember right after the pool scene there is a nun who can turn into a cat and she attacks someone, clawing and hissing like a cat…and also….that terrible “ring scene”! This movie “stayed with me” for YEARS.
Then one day when I was a grown up I was home with one of my friends and it went on TV and I was like “Oooooh, we have to watch this: It’s so scary!”
and we sat there in dumb-founded boredom. I don’t even think we made it to the end!
But yah- I’ll never forget that Pool Scene.

Amanda By Night
13 years ago

What I remember about the Legacy. Great box art on the vhs (which I have somewhere), Roger Daltrey choking and… Sam Elliot’s ass! My god! He’s perfection. I remember my then-boyfriend even saying “Wow, he’s hot”. Machismo. On. A. Stick.

I agree, not a great film. I keep thinking it’s going to be good, which is why I keep it around, but it never gets better. I also like the scene mama pointed out with the pool. Probably the one really effective moment for me. Besides Sam’s ass.

Jeff Allard
13 years ago

Oh man, I love The Legacy! This became an instant favorite of mine when I saw it as a kid on The ABC Friday Night Movie. Sure, it may not hold up so well today and I’d have a hard time recommending it to new viewers but it’ll always be one of the movies that scared me the most as a kid. The scene with the girl in the swimming pool still freaks me out!

13 years ago

Thanks for the free plug, Unk! FilmFather also provides reviews of children’s movies that dads and their kids can enjoy together, as well as “guy” movies dads can enjoy when they have time to themselves. Yes, we skew toward the male breeders out there, but anybody’s welcome to stop by!

13 years ago

I saw this movie in the theaters when I was a kid. The part where the old man grabs Katherine Ross’s hand and put the ring on her finger freaked me out! My father actually turned it into a game. My father would lay across the sofa and pretend he was sick. My brother and I would then pretend to visit him and he would call us over and weakly tells us what he was leaving us when he died. He would then reach out, grab us, and put an imaginary ring on our fingers. We would scream and run. It was a lot of fun and yes my family is sick. 

13 years ago

well, now I just feel DEPRIVED! BOTH times I saw this it was on television and so I didn’t get no Sam Elliot ass!  I may just have to rent this one day to see if his ass is all the bells and whistles you guys say it is!