So we have ourselves another movie from the Chilling Classics box set but for once, I am actually excited to rewatch a movie from that set. The reason for this is because the movie stars Peter Falk, best known as Columbo. I honestly remember some of this movie and remember it being a pretty decent movie. However, the thing about memory is that sometimes your memory might have a rose-tinted hue to it. Well, the only thing to do about that is to see if my memory of The Bloody Brood holds up to a more recent viewing.
The plot: At a beatnik hang-out, a man named Nico is telling his friends about everything going wrong with the world. When a man at the bar has a heart attack, Nico has everyone simply watch as he dies, saying it’s the greatest show on Earth as there is only one performance. The next night, Nico and his friends party at their friend Curtis’ house while he is away, telling their other friends about the old man’s death, and Nico comments about how cool it would be if the got to see one person a day die. As the party continues, Nico pulls his friend Francis aside and comments about how they should try to kill a person a day, as that would be real power, and Francis asks him about the police but Nico says he isn’t worried about the police. When a delivery boy, Roy, shows up with a telegram for Curtis, Nico realizes that he would be the perfect first victim and invites him in to have some fun with them. Some time later, Roy calls his brother Cliff, complaining about his stomach hurting but before Cliff can get any information out of him, he ends up dying in the phone booth. Later, Cliff is talking with the Detective McLeod about his brother’s death and when McLeod says that Roy was apparently given a hamburger laced with ground up glass, Cliff says it is murder and asks what they are going to do about it but McLeod doesn’t seem to quick, to investigate. The next day, Francis is working on directing a commercial but doesn’t like any of the girls that were sent for the shoot. As he is taking a break, he reads the paper and learns about the Roy’s death and goes to talk to Nico about it but Nico is unapologetic about the matter. Meanwhile, McLeod goes to Cliff’s apartment to talk to him about Roy,asking if he had any enemies or if someone would have wanted to hurt him. McLeod then comments about Roy’s life insurance policy that pays out to him but Cliff says he has a similar one that pays out to Roy. Cliff vows to find out who killed Roy if it takes him the rest of his life but McLeod tells him to let the professionals handle it. When Cliff tells him he doesn’t care, McLeod tries to talk him out of it but realizing that he can’t be swayed, gives him some tips on how to do a proper investigation, then tells him if he does find any information to call him, not to be a hero. Deciding that the best place to start is with Roy’s deliveries the night he died, Cliff heads to Curtis’ apartment but when he gets no answer there, he tries the apartment next door but the woman there tells him Curtis isn’t there and she doesn’t know when he will be back. As Cliff sits down to wait for Curtis, one of Nico’s beatnik friends, Dave, shows up and talks with Cliff, telling him about the party they had there and that Nico has the key. When nobody answers, Dave says Nico might be at the hang-out still and Cliff says they should go check. When they get there, Cliff asks around about Nico and is told to talk to a girl nicknamed Brook. Cliff heads over to talk to Brook, who kisses him but doesn’t answer his questions about Nico. Francis shows up and asks what is going on and Cliff says he met Nico at a party a while back and wanted to hang out with him but Brook says he is a square and they both walk away. As Cliff goes to leave, he talks to Dave and another man, who invites him to a party at his place tomorrow for a better chance to find Nico. After Cliff leaves, Nico shows up and Brook and Francis tell him about Cliff looking for him, which piques Nico’s interest. The next night, Cliff arrives at the party just as Dave is harassing Brook and he quickly separates the two of them. Following Brook out into the hallway, Brook tells him that he didn’t have to make a scene and Cliff apologizes. The two talk some more, with Brook telling him her name is Ellie. She tells him about the party she was at last week and a delivery boy that showed up and Cliff starts to press her for more information when suddenly everyone leaves the party, saying they are going to the hangout where Nico is and Dave drags Ellie with him, leaving Cliff standing there. Meanwhile, Nico is meeting with a drug dealer named Studs at the back of the hang out, collecting his share of the money they make when they say they want a new deal. Nico decides to give them a new deal, splitting the proceeds 50/50 when Francis knocks on the door, telling him that Cliff is there, and Nico asks Studs and his friend Weasel to stick around in case he needs them. Nico heads out and Ellie introduces him to Cliff, and Cliff bluffs his way by saying they met at a party Curtis had before he left. Nico decides to head to the bar to get some drinks and as he returns, Studs and Weasel walk over and go to pick a fight with Cliff over an imagined slight but Nico breaks it up. After escorting them out of there, Nico tells Cliff that they had picked someone’s wallet and asks if it is his. When Cliff says it is, Nico looks through it and notices that Cliff’s last name on his license is different from what they told him. Ellie gets upset and storms off and Nico asks him why he is there and when Cliff says he wants to know when Curtis is coming home, Nico says he will be back tomorrow and they are throwing a house warming party for him and invites him there. After Cliff leaves, Francis tells Nico that Cliff is the delivery boy’s brother and is scared that Cliff knows something and might go to the cops but Nico says that he worries too much and that he already has things in hand. Outside, Cliff is jumped by Studs and Weasel, who beat him up and are about to kill him when the police show up, chasing them off. The next day, Cliff is talking to McLeod about his suspicions that Nico was the one to kill his brother but McLeod says his theory sounds possible but without any proof, there is nothing he can do. When someone knocks on the door, McLeod answers it to find Ellie there and Cliff introduces them before McLeod leaves. Ellie says that she brought him some fruit and Cliff is rather curt with her, thinking that Nico might have sent her there to pump him for information. Ellie tells him that she came on her lunch break and as they continue talking, Cliff tells her that he was attacked by the same two men that picked a fight at The Digs and he believes Nico put them up to it. He then tells Ellie that Nico killed her brother and she doesn’t want to believe it but when he shows her Roy’s photo, she recognizes him. Cliff presses her for what she knows and she isn’t sure of everything that she saw but she did remember him being there for a while and eating the hamburger. Cliff asks when Nico arrives at The Digs and asks her to meet him there and if he can get Nico to admit he killed Roy, she talks to McLeod and tells him what she saw. Ellie agrees and the two kiss before she heads back to work and Cliff calls McLeod. Elsewhere, Nico is meeting with his boss, Stephanex, and he tells him that he is having a problem with Studs and Weasel, and Stephanex tells him that he will take care of them. That night at The Digs, Ellie is surprised to see Nico there early, who tells her something came up and he has to go plan a party somewhere. Ellie relays the information to Cliff, who was talking to a beatnik named Paul the Poet, and he tells her to stick with Nico while he calls McLeod. As Ellie sits with Nico and Francis, Paul gets up and recites the poem that Cliff helped him right, mentioning the glass filled burger and a telegram. Nico and Francis both react to the poem and when it is finished, Ellie goes to leave, having seen their reactions and realizing that Cliff was right, but Nico grabs her and takes her into the back room. Once there, Nico slaps Ellie, then prepares to giver her an overdose in order to kill her but Cliff, noticing that they had left, starts pounding on the door. Nico tells Francis to open it and Cliff punches Francis but stops when he sees Nico holding a broken bottle to Ellie’s throat. Suddenly, the back door to the club opens and a severely wounded Studs and Weasel stand there, blaming Nico for what happened to them. Studs grabs Nico but then throws him to Cliff, allowing Cliff to beat him up while Weasel slashes at Francis with his knife to keep him from leaving. Ellie tries to stop Cliff from killing Nico and when Studs grabs her, Cliff tells him to leave her alone. As Cliff tends to Ellie, Nico makes a run for it but Studs and Weasel chase after him and kill him just as the police arrive. McLeod tells Cliff and Ellie to leave while they arrest Studs, Weasel, and Francis, who tells them that it was all Nico’s idea and he forced him to do it.
So the movie was just like I remembered, which is a good thing. The acting was pretty good, with Peter Falk doing a great job as Nico, while Jack Betts (Cliff) and Barbara Lord (Ellie) were also good. The story wasn’t exactly original, with Cliff’s determination to find out who killed his brother being pretty basic, but the beatnik background did help to make it a little more interesting. I will say that the whole sub plot with Nico and the drug dealers was kind of unnecessary but did make for an interesting way to end the movie, having Studs and Weasel actually kill Nico instead of Cliff. The movie did move at a pretty slow pace but that actually did kind of help set the stage with the tension and mood of the movie. This is a nice little thriller that is definitely worth giving a shot if you get the chance.
Rating: 3 out of 5