Monday, September 27, 2010
Director: Juan Piquer Simon
Writers: Dick Randall and John W. Shadow
Starring Christopher George, Linda Day George, Frank Brana, Edmund Purdom, Ian Sera, Paul L. Smith and Jack Taylor
This is a wonderfully trashy yet fun film. It is not a film that would ever win any technical awards yet somehow this film works. It is enjoyably sleazy and it wallows in its gore which is a fun aspect of this film. This is a film that dwells on the gory and sickening and it really works. It also tries to go the murder mystery route but it is pretty simple to figure out who the killer is. That is not the fun of this film; the fun is watching how the killer dispatches these nubile young females. It has a great genre cast with stalwarts like Christopher George and Paul L. Smith. The film is very lurid in all the details of the killings and I think that is what makes this film a gem and one that I revisit again and again. The story is simple but effective and easily carries the film to its shocking climax. This is a high point for fan os exploitation horror and a must see.
The plot basics are this, while playing with a puzzle a child is stopped by his mother and she is shocked by what he is doing and admonishes him. This drives the kid wild and he grabs an axe and chops her to death but he hides the details so the police think he is a victim as well. Forty years later there is a rash of killings at a university where the killer takes various body parts from each young girl he kills. The head investigator in the case, Lt. Bracken (George) makes a deal with the Dean of the university (Purdom) to have a young police woman (George) infiltrates the school posing as a tennis teacher. Hopefully then they can draw out the killer. Along with the help of a student (Sera) they try to find the identity of the killer without becoming victims themselves.
This is just a cheesy and fun cult movie. The direction by Simon is mainly just adequate until he gets to the kill scenes those are done quite well. I especially loved the deaths in the shower and the waterbed. The script is decent and carries the film but it is simple at best. It is mainly there to get you from point A to point B. The film is really about the rampant nudity and all the killings. The cast does a good job. I really liked Christopher George as Lt. Brackett he was quite good. Lynda Day George was quite fetching and did the damsel in distress quite well. I liked Sera as the main protagonist too and he is someone you feel for and you put yourself in his shoes. Smith is great as the obvious red herring and does a great job with his performance. The SFX and make up effects are quite good. The death scens are brutal and shocking. The score by Librado Pastor is quite campy and cheesy and suits the film very well. This is just a classic cult slasher film and one of my favorites to watch again and again.
This one gets 4 out of 5