After the family patriarch, Christopher Dean (John Carradine) dies, the heirs are assembled in the family homestead for the reading of the will. Present are Christopher’s children, Laura Dean (Merry Anders) and her husband Dr. Carl Isenberg (John Smith), Gregory Dean (Jeff Morrow) and his wife Leslie Dean (Brooke Mills), Veronica Dean (Faith Domergue), Johnny Dean (Richard Davalos) and the family servants, Igor Garin (Buck Kartalian), the butler, Elga (Ivy Bethune), the housekeeper, and Frank Mantee (John Russell), the chauffeur.
The family attorney, Tom Drake (Norman Bartold), plays a tape recorded by Christopher before his death. On the tape, Christopher reads the dissolution of his assets. The servants, Frank, Igor and Elga receive $500 a month for as long as they maintain the house and grounds. One million dollars each is put in a trust to fund their wages. The rest of the estate, 136 million dollars, is to be split evenly among the four children. If any of the children should die, their portion will be divided up equally between the remaining children. If everyone dies, then the estate will go to the servants. To inherit, all the heirs must live in the house for a week.
It doesn’t take long before everyone begins to drop like flies. Everyone in the house begins to distrust everyone else and the skeletons begin to come out of the closet as the heirs start suspecting each other of being the killer.
“Blood Legacy” AKA “Legacy of Blood” AKA “Will to Die” was released in 1971 and was directed by Carl Monson. It is an American horror mystery thriller film. It is not a well-known movie. Actually, it may be better known for its being lampooned by “Cinematic Titanic”. (These are the same people that brought you MST3K.)
There are some well-known stars here from older horror movies. Jeff Morrow and Faith Domergue were both in “This Island Earth” 1955. John Carradine has been in almost everything in the 50’s and 60’s. There is also some decent horror here as well. The murders, for the most part, are varied and interesting but it’s not enough to keep you engrossed in either the characters or what they are talking about. In addition, all the characters themselves are unlikable and you find yourself waiting to see how each one was done away with. As for the movie in general, I found it talky and, therefore, a little boring.
This is not the first movie I’ve seen where the characters are stuck together in house waiting for either an inheritance or to get killed. It’s also not the first where everyone in it was either insane and or an entitled whiny adult. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree when it comes to madness in this family.
The house used for exterior shots in the film was also used as Wayne Manor in the Batman television series. The house is located in Pasadena.