Seeing as it’s the season of horror and whatnot I wanted to present one of my traumafessions from childhood that stuck with me through the years. The year was 1975 and I was an impressionable 7-year-old infatuated with television and all things horror. Oh, and BEWITCHED. So imagine my surprise to see that ELIZABETH MONTGOMERY was starring in a made-for-TV movie called THE LEGEND OF LIZZIE BORDEN. Now, I had no idea who Lizzie was or the hideous crime she allegedly committed, but after watching the movie I was forever scarred by the image of my beloved Samantha Stevens taking an axe to the heads of her father and step-mother! Most of the film is a courtroom procedural drama, with tidbits of flashbacks of Lizzie and her family near the turn of the 20th century. In other words, pretty boring stuff for a second grade kid.
But then WHAM; ELIZABETH MONTGOMERY, as Lizzie, takes off her clothes (scathing!), gets the axe from under her bed, and proceeds to bury it into her step-mother’s head, with blood spurting all over the place. So there I was, befreaked by the thought of someone killing their mother, much less with a sharp, shiny axe. Lizzie cleans herself up and continues to go about her business, as if there is nothing amiss with the dead body in the bedroom. Well, it quickly becomes obvious she didn’t get it all out of her system because in a little while she goes for round two, one again stripping nude and dividing her father’s skull in two while he laid on the couch for what he expected to be a nice afternoon nap. Again, blood and gore abound! After that it goes on for a bit with the trial and blah blah blah until she’s acquitted of the murders.
And therein started my unhealthy infatuation with axe murders in the movies. Thanks to that movie I never looked at Samantha Stevens the same way ever again. Here’s a clip of the good stuff, starting at the 3-minute mark:
— David O.