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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A double dose of Shelley Winters at her best, 12 Sep 2007
By 
David (SPECTRE Island) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: What's the Matter with Helen? & Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? [DVD] [1971] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
This double sided dvd contains two horror films What's The Matter With Helen ? and Who Slew Auntie Roo ? both starring Shelley Winters. Sadly she is no longer with us but we are still able to endjoy her performances with dvds like this one.

The first film What's The Matter With Helen ? concerns two mothers of convicted murders who escape their past and move to Hollywood. One (played by Debbie Reynolds) becomes a star, while the other (Winters) is left out in the cold and gradually decends into madness. An excellent film which also stars the late Dennis Weaver (McCloud, Gentle Ben). The print is excellent (1.78 ratio widescreen) with very little print damage and good sound quality.

The second film Who Slew Auntie Roo ? features Winters as Auntie Roo as a "kindly" auntie who invites childeren from the local orphanage for Christmas. Her character is rather like the witch out of Hansel and Gretle (which the story is very losely based on). She hides a sinister secret in the attic. Once again a superb film with excellent supporting cast including Lional Jeffries (Murder Ahoy) and Sir Ralph Richardson (Tales From The Crypt). The print is also excellent in 1.85 widescreen with great sound and picture quality.

This dvd is an American dvd and is region 1 coded. To date neither film has been released in the UK. If you enjoy classic horror without excessive gore or violence then this dvd is well worth adding to your collection.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two little gems, 2 July 2010
This review is from: What's the Matter with Helen? & Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? [DVD] [1971] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Let me start with "Whoever Slew Auntie Roo". The film is loosely based on the fairy tale, Hansel and Gretel, and can best be summed up as a psychological horror flick. It contains some of the essential ingredients of a good horror film, including the big scary mansion, a séance, a rotting corpse, together with a host of oddball characters. Shelly Winters plays Auntie Roo, a wealthy widow with time and money to play with. Sounds good, doesn't it? Well, the picture isn't quite as rosey as you might think. You see, Auntie Roo lost her daughter, Katherine, very suddenly some time ago, and has never quite come to terms with what really happened. Cue the orphans. In the festive spirit, Auntie Roo invites some children from the nearby orphanage to her mansion (aka the gingerbread house) to celebrate Christmas. And when they arrive, Auntie Roo sets her sights on one little girl called Katy. What follows is a deadly game of cat and mouse. I won't give any more of the plot away, so give this film a go and find out for yourselves.

Next under the spotlight, "What's the matter with Helen?". Also starring Shelly Winters (as Helen Hill), and co-starring the illustrious Debbie Reynolds (Adele Brackner), this film follows the lives of two mothers trying to escape from the publicity of a shameful truth. Their respective sons are convicted of murdering a girl called Ellie Banner at the outset of the film, and someone, somewhere, wants revenge for Ellie's death. Consequently, Helen and Adele go into hiding and start a new life together in Hollywood. Problem solved. Or is it? Over time, Adele begins to realise that Helen is perhaps not quite as stable as she thought. Gradually, Helen's fragile and disturbed mental state begins to seriously affect her behaviour, and the consequences are deadly. Overall, this is an enjoyable watch, and there are one or two great moments of suspense (and tap dancing!).

If you buy this DVD, I would suggest that you watch "What's the matter with Helen?" first. That way you'll have the better of the two films still to look forward to when you're done!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars sadly overlooked comedy horror, 22 Jun 2013
By 
M. A. Bolger (london) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: What's the Matter with Helen? & Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? [DVD] [1971] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Debbie Reynolds is terrific in this often very funny and atmospheric movie. Overlooked, it should be seen for a quartet of fine performances, many in-jokes that give laughs galore. Great period feel.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Definately worth getting!, 2 Jun 2014
By 
Mr. M. K. Johnson (Norwich,England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: What's the Matter with Helen? & Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? [DVD] [1971] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
If You have an DVD player that can play American films then this is for You! Auntie Roo-not Your usual run of the mill Auntie this one! She has a dark secret that no one knows about,and anybody who gets too curious had better watch out-Auntie Roo will do what she has to to protect her secret! GET IT!
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shelley Winters is fantastic in this Great British classic!, 2 Jun 2006
By 
FAMOUS NAME (UNITED KINGDOM) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: What's the Matter with Helen? & Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? [DVD] [1971] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
WHOEVER SLEW AUNTIE ROO?

Probably Shelley Winters' greatest movie - though I suspect many would disagree. Many viewers delight in name-calling 'Aunt Roo' as 'nuts' 'crazy' 'evil' etc., but many fail to see the sad and pathetic side to this unfortunate character.

Aunt Roo (played marvellously by the wonderful Shelley Winters) is clearly traumatised by the tragic death of her only child. Left widowed in an isolated mansion to live all by herself, she, and her poor 'damaged' mind due to the trauma of her loss, are taken advantage of, and are cruelly and sadistically abused by her staff who pretend to be her dead daughter come back during false séances. Many 'unsympathisers' ignore the staff who bleed her white. Despite showing loads of kindnesses to orphaned children, she is further abused by two of the most ungrateful among them. Consequently, 'Aunt Roo' transforms from just being traumatised to mentally disturbed, and the tragic end to the movie ensues...

I guess this story just goes to prove how cruel society and people can be to traumatised people without trying to understand them. If the roles of this film were reversed, everyone's sympathy would have been with the children, simply because they were 'kids'.

Shelley Winters' performance still brings tears to my eyes when she cries and yearns for her dead child, only to find out she's been made a fool of - enough to drive anyone crazy!

A fabulous movie, and a fabulous story. It's often likened to 'Hansel And Gretel', but I think it's far more complicated than that.

WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH HELEN?

This is a film 'oddity', and quite frankly, have never been able to follow it.

Debbie Reynolds and Shelley Winters start in this as two friends who are hiding are dark secret. Unlike all the other 'whatever' movies, this does not have a tremendously good story that makes enough sense, though there are a lot of shock moments and interesting parts. I also find Shelley Winter's performance difficult to make out because most of the acting in this borders on the 'comic'.

Also stars Dennis Weaver.
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