- Movie Rating -

The Kirlian Witness (1979)

| June 15, 1979

When I was a kid, I had an elderly neighbor Mrs. Mead who use to talk to her plants while watering them.  When she left the house, she would leave them with the sounds of the symphony drifting out of her hi-fi.  She would say that it gave them an emotional response.  Love them, and they will bloom faster, straighter and with more color.  I do not know, however, if Mrs. Mead might have thought that her plants could help solve a murder.  The subject never came up.

I wonder if she might have been curious about The Kirlian Witness, an unusual mystery that leans on the question of whether or not plants can be used to document emotional reactions from plants when exposed to extremes.  The plot is interesting.  A young New Yorker is found dead on her rooftop with apparently no witnesses.  Her sister suspects that a carpenter friend may have been involved.  The idea of plant emotional vibes was interesting to the carpenter and to the dead sister but the surviving sister has her doubts.  Never-the-less, she puts the man to the test by asking him to do a job for her.  She hooks up the plant to a machine that will measure its response when the man comes over.  The idea, of course, is to trap him.

I am going to say, I knew this would be intriguing going in.  It is ridiculous to be sure, but if done right, it could be made into one of those small treasures.  Alas, the movie isn’t much. It never goes as far as you might like with them premise, nor does the director Joe Sarno have any real interest in exploring it beyond the basics.  This is a competently made film that never really moves beyond its interesting premise.  Mrs. Mead, a woman of simple tastes, might have enjoyed it.  I wanted something more.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1979) View IMDB Filed in: Uncategorized