Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Landlady (1998)


Synopsis taken from IMDb
Melanie decides that one of her tenants would be perfect as her husband and decides to eliminate everyone who might interfere in her plans.

The movie starts off with Melanie (Talia Shire) spying on a couple having sex. She stares at them through their half open window and absorbs all the filth being done. We see the look on her face telling us that she's upset by what she's seen.

She then goes home to poison her husband's food at dinner. And she does it like she's a pro. Not second thoughts or panic attacks. She simply does it and moves on. At this point I could get where the film was going and what kind of film it was. I knew it wouldn't be very believable but wanted to see what could come of it. And it's not everyday you get to see Mrs. Balboa be a serial killer.

Shortly after the murder of her husband Melanie inherits an apartment building in which she is to be the new owner/landlady. She has no idea how to do her job and doesn't really care. She soon starts to take charge and becoming decent at her job which includes cracking down on tenants who haven't paid rent in a long time. It turns out the previous owner was very lenient with the tenants who can't afford rent.

She instantly gets off on the wrong foot with the 2nd in command at the apartment building and threatens to throw her out if she doesn't pay her rent, even after it was explained to her that her 2nd in command isn't supposed to pay rent. This gets her in deeper water when she finds out her 2nd in command has done some background digging and found out about Melanie's late husband and intends to blackmail her. This doesn't go over well with Melanie and Melanie only knows of one way to dispose of the problem...kill it.

Melanie draws some attention through this, because the building maintenance man is a close friend of the 2nd in command who's now gone mysteriously out of town (in Melanie's words) and he instantly smells something fishy.

Melanie then discovers a young, strong and handsome young man living next door to her who she instantly becomes obsessed with. Talia did a good job of showing you just with her eyes and expression that she was pulled into the young gentleman's lure.

She even goes as far as to watch him through a two-way mirror that connects his and her rooms. Only it isn't double sided for him, to him it's just a mirror. He has no clue he's being watched. And this all happens when she offers him her 2nd in command's apartment now that it's vacant, a plot she came up with soon after he mentioned to her he was interested in a bigger apartment.

Once they're in Melanie's apartment and having a nice home cooked dinner, which to him is a dinner among friends, he finds out that she's madly in love with him. He tries to let her down nicely but she won't hear it. Forcing him to be rude about it hoping to make her back off. Instead she only goes crazier...

Now, she already kills off several other people in the building who pose a threat to her and her new love interest but after she finds out he doesn't like her she practically takes him hostage. Forcing her will and opinion on him. She wants him all to herself...forever.

This movie has alot of flaws, making alot of it unbelievable (as I said earlier) and making some of it even laughable. It's a corny movie that's hard to really take seriously but it's entertaining. Not necessarily something I'd say I'd watch again but it isn't something I'd say I regret watching.

I do think Talia Shire was good in this role, she plays a good crazy chick. But Melanie's very sloppy and has poor excuses, which to me would have had her caught within days of her first murder. If they had kept Talia as the same character but put a little more thought into her stories it would have been alot better.



  1. Jack Coleman lists this movie as one of his "lamest hits" He had a hilarious blog entry about that.


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