Lizzie Borden took an axe: Four new movies available on Shudder


Shudder has added some interesting new movies for April, with several more available later in the month. New offerings that are currently available are Lizzie, The Car, 3 Women and Dead Silence.

Lizzie is a Shudder exclusive, featuring Chloe Sevigny as Lizzie Borden and Kristen Stewart as Bridget Sullivan, the Borden family’s maid. Jamey Sheridan (Homeland, The Stand) appears as Lizzie’s father Andrew Borden, and Denis O’Hare (True Blood, American Horror Story) plays John Morse, Lizzie’s Uncle.

Unless you have been living under a rock, you are at least partly familiar with the story of Lizzie Borden, who “gave her mother 40 whacks” before giving her father 41. However, despite the fact that her story is one of the most famous American murders, there’s a lot that remains unknown. We know she was acquitted, mostly due to circumstantial evidence, but we don’t really know whether or not she actually committed the brutal murders.

Lizzie gives us mostly real facts, but does take some artistic license by presenting a few things that have been speculated over time, but not proven. Notably, the movie portrays Lizzie as suffering from epileptic seizures andd has her involved in a lesbian relationship with Bridget.

The movie debuted at Sundance in January of last year, then premiered on only 240 screens in September to mixed reviews. Most reviewers did write favorably of Sevigny and Stewart’s performances, so I am inclined to watch it based on that, and on my fascination with Lizzie Borden’s legend.

Shudder – The Car – Courtesy Universal Pictures

The Car is a 1977 film starring James Brolin as Wade, a small town deputy investigating a handful of hit and run deaths. The plot thickens when witnesses claim there was no one driving the car when it was savagely mowing people down.

The seemingly possessed car continues to terrorize the townspeople, even going after the high school marching band at one point, and Wade and a fellow deputy hatch a plan to lay waste to the deadly vehicle.

Trivia: John Marley, who plays Sheriff Everett Peck, also played Jack Woltz in The Godfather. What, you say you don’t remember that character? I beg to differ, because you certainly remember him, he was the film mogul who awoke to find a severed horse head in his bed.

Shudder – 3 Women – Lion’s Gate Films

3 Women is described as an avant-garde thriller, written and directed by the legendary Robert Altman. It stars Sissy Spacek and Shelley Duvall as co-workers who become roommates. The film premiered at the 1977 Cannes Film Festival, where it was nominated for the coveted Palme d’Or, and Duvall received the Best Actress award.

Spacek plays Pinky, an awkward young woman who becomes obsessed with co-worker Millie (Duvall). The two move into the Purple Sage Apartments together, where they meet owner Edgar and his mysterious, pregnant wife Willie.

Pinky and Millie’s relationship begins to change and become embattled, and things come to a head when Edgar tells the two women that Willie is in labor. I haven’t seen this one yet, but a reviewer described 3 Women as being very similar to a David Lynch film.

Dead Silence was written and directed by Leigh Whannell and James Wan, of Saw fame. While it did not get strong reviews when it was released, it has garnered a cult following in the years since.

After Jamie (True Blood’s Ryan Kwanten) and wife Lisa are gifted with a creepy ventriloquist doll known as Billy, Jamie returns home to find his wife dead with her tongue removed. When he finds a note in Billy’s box referring to Mary Shaw, he knows that everything leads back to Raven’s Fair, his hometown.

Shudder – Dead Silence – Courtesy Universal Pictures

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Legend had it that Mary Shaw was a famed ventriloquist who was shamed when a boy publicly claimed to see her lips moving during a performance. When the boy disappeared, Mary was lynched (and her tongue was cut out), but she apparently returned as a ghost, and is reputed to kill people who scream in her presence.

There are lots of eerie looking dolls and dummies in this one, and, as we all know, ventriloquist dummies who come to life always equal terror. I like Dead Silence enough that I own it on DVD, so give it a watch if you haven’t seen it yet.

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