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Category: Response Reviews

My comments on Peary’s reviews in Guide for the Film Fanatic (Simon & Schuster, 1986).

Touch of Evil (1958)

Touch of Evil (1958)

“All border towns bring out the worst in a country.”

Synopsis:
A Mexican detective (Charlton Heston) travelling across the border with his new American wife (Janet Leigh) investigates a death-by-bombing which seems to involve the head (Akim Tamaroff) of the local crime family. Meanwhile, American detective Hank Quinlan (Orson Welles) and his loyal assistant (Joseph Calleia) attempt to implicate the Mexican husband (Victor Millan) of the victim’s daughter (Joanna Moore) in the bombing crime by planting evidence, and Tamiroff tries to incriminate Leigh and Heston as drug users.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Akim Tamiroff Films
  • Charlton Heston Films
  • Corruption
  • Detectives and Private Eyes
  • Falsely Accused
  • Framed
  • Janet Leigh Films
  • Joseph Cotten Films
  • Marlene Dietrich Films
  • Mercedes McCambridge Films
  • Mexico
  • Newlyweds
  • Orson Welles Films

Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary writes that “producer Albert Zugsmith gave Orson Welles his long-awaited chance to again direct a Hollywood film” in this very loose adaptation (by Welles) of “Whit Masterson’s novel Badge of Evil.” He notes that “Welles the writer turned out the sleaziest story imaginable — with seedy characters and locations, drugs, sex, corruption, murder, racism, etc.” while “Welles the director shot it like an artist, employing some of the most audacious visual strokes of his career” — resulting in “a masterpiece.” He points out that “Welles’s Detective Hank Quinlan is one of his most interesting, complex characters”: a “great detective but he thinks himself above the law,” and while he’s “always correct when he accuses someone of a crime,” he nonetheless “always plants incriminating evidence” to “assure convictions.”

Peary writes that “Welles’s characters are potentially great men but none of them act nobly on their way to the thrones of their particular worlds” — which is why “Calleia, who loves Welles’s Quinlan, is so disappointed: real heroes must have pure pasts.”

Peary notes that “Leigh was never sexier — Welles was the rare director to emphasize her large chest”:

… and “Dietrich (as the only person who understands Welles) has a memorable cameo.”

In the years since Peary’s GFTFF was published, this classic has undergone an infamous revision based on Welles’s 58-page memo written to the studio, which (typical for Welles) messed substantially with his original vision. The “1998 version” is the one I watched for this review (and saw in theaters back in ’98), but the DVD provides ample evidence and discussion of the differences, for those who are interested. Regardless of which version you see, it remains powerful and provocative viewing, clearly demonstrating Welles’ cinematic gifts. With that said, I do have a few quibbles: I’m not a fan of Tamiroff’s intermittently comedic characterization as “Uncle” Joe Grandi:

… or Dennis Weaver’s performance as a loony motel manager:

… and I find it hard to believe that Leigh’s character would go off with a stranger in a border town at night, then get pissy when confronted by the head of a notorious criminal family.


(I know she’s meant to be a “tough cookie” but she simply comes across like a foolhardy rube.) However, Heston acquits himself nicely (despite not attempting a Spanish accent):

… and Welles and Calleia have authentic chemistry together. Watch for tiny cameos by Big Names, including not just Dietrich but Joseph Cotten, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and Mercedes McCambridge (!).

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Orson Welles as Harry Quinlan
  • Joseph Calleia as Sergeant Menzies
  • Fun cameos in the supporting cast


  • The still-impressive 3 1/2 minute opening tracking shot
  • Russell Metty’s cinematography


  • The excitingly shot finale sequence

Must See?
Yes, as a still-powerful classic by a master director.

Categories

  • Genuine Classic
  • Important Director

(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)

Links:

Metropolis (1927)

Metropolis (1927)

“Maria speaks of peace — not killing. This is not Maria!”

Synopsis:
In a future dystopia, the wealthy son (Gustav Frohlich) of a city leader (Alfred Abel) is inspired by a righteous messenger (Brigitte Helm) to descend into the bowels of the workers’ realm and get to know his “brothers”. Meanwhile, a mad scientist (Rudolf Klein-Rogge) previously in love with Abel’s now-dead wife creates a robot which he eventually infuses with the life of Helm in order to confuse her followers.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Dystopia
  • Fritz Lang Films
  • German Films
  • Mad Doctors and Scientists
  • Robots
  • Science Fiction
  • Silent Films

Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary writes that “Fritz Lang’s colossal silent [science] fiction classic” — “set 100 years in the future” — “was visually inspired by New York’s skyline, which Lang had recently seen, and thematically inspired (in part) by the increasingly dehumanizing industrialization within Germany.” He notes that this “epic was originally almost 200 minutes long” — and given that GFTFF was published in 1987, he couldn’t have known that years later, an original version would be found and painstakingly restored. With that said, Peary’s frustration with the “drastically shortened prints” — that “there’s no way to figure out why Maria tells the workers not to revolt and to wait for a ‘mediator’, when revolution is definitely their only hope”, or to know why “Frederson [Abel] would want to destroy all the machinery below, since the robot workforce would have to use it anyway” — remain salient concerns even in the reconstructed version. As DVD Savant notes:

“This reviewer was hoping that the nearly complete 2010 restoration would plug a frustrating plot hole in Metropolis, a lack of logic around the actions of the mastermind Joh Fredersen… When the power goes out, Joh is not upset, merely interested in seeing the city lights dimmed for the first time… Why? The answer is still not certain. Fritz Lang may have left a hole in the story, or the German restorers may have neglected to tell us everything that happens in the still-missing fight scene between Joh [Abel] and Rotwang [Klein-Rogge].”

Regardless, “the film is a visual tour-de-force” and “much is stunning,” including “the march of the workers:

… the fabulous robot-transformation sequence (which would be copied many times):


… Helm’s erotic, bare-chested dance:

… [and] the great flood.”:

Peary notes that “of course the look of the future it presents would serve as the model for almost all futuristic cities in film and conceptual art until Blade Runner.” Indeed, Metropolis remains must-see viewing for its iconic relevance, not its less-than-satisfying storyline.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Brigitte Helm as Maria

  • Karl Freund’s cinematography

  • Edgar Ulmer’s set designs

  • The truly surreal dream sequence

Must See?
Yes, for its historical status as a classic of sci-fi cinema by a master director.

Categories

  • Genuine Classic
  • Historically Relevant
  • Important Director

(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)

Links:

Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The (1964)

Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The (1964)

“He’ll be away for two years. I can’t live without him — I’ll die.”

Synopsis:
When her lover (Nino Castelnuovo) is sent to fight in Algeria, a young woman (Catherine Deneuve) working with her mother (Anne Vernon) in an umbrella shop faces the challenging decision of how to manage a wealthy would-be suitor (Marc Michel).

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Catherine Deneuve Films
  • French Films
  • Love Triangle
  • Jacques Demy Films
  • Musicals
  • Romance
  • Star-Crossed Lovers
  • Veterans

Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary writes that this “experimental work by Jacques Demy” — “for all of us who occasionally burst into song at the dinner table, with a melodic ‘Will youuuu pass theeee bread, pleeeease???'” — is “a throwback to the all-singing Hollywood musicals of the late twenties,” given that “all the dialogue — including mundane lines — is sung.” He asserts that “everything is so pretty — the enchantingly colored pink-and-red-dominated sets:

… the music by Michel Legrand, the dubbed voices, and the young faces:

— that you’d expect to be sickened by the whole thing,” but it “is, surprisingly, quite pleasant to sit through.” He notes that the “picture was extremely popular because it manages to be cheerful due to its colorful look and music, yet cynical due to the sad events that occur and Demy’s lyrics” — and he adds that “young people in the sixties liked it because, despite its fairytale appearance, it dealt with what was important to them: premarital sex, love, pregnancy, dealing with parental figures, and war.”

While I appreciate everything about this film that makes it a distinctive and masterfully directed entry in mid-century French cinema, I’ll admit to not being a personal fan. It’s certainly beautiful, well-acted by young Deneuve, and charmingly scored — yet the far-too-bleak storyline makes it ultimately unpleasant “to sit through”. The realism of its narrative — including its heart-wrenching final scene — is what many seem to appreciate about it, but not me; and I ultimately find the incessantly sung dialogue to be tiresome and over-the-top. However, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is unique and visually distinctive enough to merit a one-time viewing by all film fanatics.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Catherine Deneuve as Genevieve
  • Vibrant cinematography and sets

  • Fine use of location shooting
  • Michel Legrand’s incomparable score

Must See?
Yes, as a cinematic classic — though you may or may not want a repeat visit.

Categories

  • Foreign Gem
  • Genuine Classic

(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)

Links:

Eraserhead (1977)

Eraserhead (1977)

“Mary tells me you’re a very nice fellow.”

Synopsis:
A man (Jack Nance) raising a mutant infant with his girlfriend (Charlotte Stewart) imagines that a squirrel-cheeked girl (Laurel Near) in his radiator is dancing and singing about heaven.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Father and Child
  • Living Nightmare
  • Mutant Monsters
  • Science Fiction
  • Surrealism

Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary describes “David Lynch’s fascinating independently made debut film” as “at once repellent and hypnotic, ugly and beautiful, heartbreaking and hilarious, cruel and tender.” He notes that it’s not only “one of the most popular midnight movies” but “could be the strangest picture ever made,” given it’s “an intense mood piece; an absurdist’s vision of the future; a mix of abstract art, surrealistic painting, and minimalist cinema” — not to mention “the ultimate student film,” “the ultimate experimental film, [and] the last word in personal filmmaking.” He writes that Eraserhead is “the visualization of your worst nightmare, or, more accurately, that of the most paranoid manic-depressive on the eve of committing suicide or donning a Doomsday placard.” Peary notes that our ‘hero’, Henry — “a depressed, pudgy guy” with “mismatched clothes” and “electrified hair that stands straight up” — “lives in a noisy… post-apocalyptic age, in a spooky industrial town (perhaps in Pennsylvania, perhaps in Poland)” and is “forced to marry his pregnant girlfriend” who gives birth to a “hideous-looking” mutant baby that simply “lies in the dark and wails.” Peary adds that “this unique film has marvelous special effects, frame-by-frame animation, black-and-white photography, and scenic design,” as well as “startling moments of horror, sex, and brilliant black comedy.” While “it may adversely affect the squeamish and will undoubtedly confuse everyone a bit (Lynch intentionally left questions unanswered),” it’s “worth a gamble.”

Peary discusses this iconic film at greater length in his first Cult Movies book, where he notes that it’s “unpleasant and often repellent, but all the while it is riveting and fascinating, not unlike sideshow acts at the carnival. It is cruel and sadistic, but has moments of compassion and humor; is about all things alien, but about things that ring a responsive chord; is full of images that are in themselves ugly or bland, yet… everything is touched with beauty.” He describes Henry’s apartment building as “the type… one fears ending up in when stranded in a strange town after all the decent hotels have closed down,” and points out that “Henry’s room is worse than depressing” given that “his one window faces a brick wall.” When Henry “visits his plain-looking, shabbily dressed girlfriend, Mary X, in a scene that outdoes every awful boyfriend-meets-girlfriend’s family sequence you’ve seen (or experienced),” we undergo a “painful excursion into black comedy” which includes a “man-made chicken which spurts awful slime and moves by itself” for dinner. Suffice it to say that every element of Lynch’s vision defies easy explanation and leaves us “never (mentally) finished ‘working out’ [the] film, never through thinking about it.”

Note: Citing a critic from The Village Voice, Peary describes Henry and Mary’s mutant baby as “a mewling, eye-rolling first cousin to the skinned rabbit from Repulsion (1965)” — which is absolutely, freakily accurate.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Effective b&w cinematography

  • Countless surreal moments



  • The truly creepy infant
  • Highly unique and evocative sound effects

Must See?
Yes, as a bizarre cult classic.

Categories

  • Cult Movie

(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)

Links:

Vampyr / Castle of Doom (1932)

Vampyr / Castle of Doom (1932)

“I know. I’m damned.”

Synopsis:
A young man (Julian West) interested in all things supernatural arrives at a mysterious inn in the village of Courtenpierre, where he’s handed a book about vampires by an old man (Maurice Schutz), then wanders over to a castle where he finds two sisters — deathly ill Leone (Sybille Schmitz) and scared Gisele (Rena Mandel) — under the sway of a vampiric old lady (Henriette Gerard) and her helpers, a suspiciously lurking village doctor (Jan Hieronimko) and a peg-legged gamekeeper (Albert Bras).

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Carl Theodore Dreyer Films
  • Horror Films
  • Living Nightmare
  • Vampires

Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary writes that “Carl Dreyer’s classic is not like any other vampire film,” given it’s “not so much a horror film as an eerie mood piece, a dream, the visualization of the conflict between the heart and the brain for the soul.” He notes that “Dreyer links his vampire with Satan and makes Courtenpierre a religious battleground where believers and blasphemers wage war” and asserts that while the “picture is slow-paced and has no shocks” “even young horror-movie fans should be able to recognize why it is regarded as a classic of the genre.” He points out “several startling visual passages”, including West “thinking himself a corpse and seeing his own funeral:

… shadows dancing on the inn’s wall:

… possessed Leone’s evil face shown in close up as she leers at her sister:

… [and] a death in a flour mill” — and he notes that “the whole film has an effectively haunting, misty look due to the use of gauze in front of the camera.”

However, while Peary and every other reviewer I’ve read seem quite taken by this intentionally ethereal mood piece (made during a transitional period between silent films and talkies), I was much less engaged. Non-actor West — who funded the film, thus securing a role for himself — simply wanders through a pair of houses watching admittedly eerie and incomprehensible imagery playing out, while far too many pages from the book he’s received about vampires are shown on screen for us to read at regular intervals.

Meanwhile, I’m hard-pressed to see much evidence in the surreal narrative of “the conflict between the heart and the brain for the soul” — though clearly there’s plenty here for those so inclined to interpret in a variety of ways.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Rudolph Mate’s cinematography
  • Effectively unsettling imagery

Must See?
No, though it’s worth a look for its historical significance.

(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)

Links:

Jaws (1975)

Jaws (1975)

“You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

Synopsis:
The police chief (Roy Scheider) of the tourist town of Amity is pressured by its money-conscious mayor (Murray Hamilton) to keep the death-by-shark of a young woman (Susan Backlinie) under wraps — but when a boy (Jeffrey Voorhees) is killed during a very public beach day, Scheider relies on support from an ichthyologist (Richard Dreyfuss) and a shark-fighting sea captain (Robert Shaw) to find the great white shark that’s really behind the gruesome deaths.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • At Sea
  • Horror Films
  • Fishermen
  • Killer Animals
  • Richard Dreyfuss Films
  • Robert Shaw Films
  • Roy Scheider Films
  • Small Town America
  • Steven Spielberg Films

Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary writes that this “exciting adventure-horror film” — an “adaptation of Peter Benchley’s best-seller” — “went far beyond anyone’s expectations” because “no one knew what to expect from [28=year-old] director Steven Spielberg.” He argues that “this is by far the best nature-retribution film since The Birds,” pointing out that “the fun and the tension are constant”: “there are thrills, there are terrifying scenes, there is humor, [and] there’s even a Watergate cover-up theme” (actually, it’s simple everyday small-town political corruption). He notes that “there are few horror films in which you’ll so identify with potential victims,” adding, “Has anybody who has swum in the ocean since seeing this film not worried about something latching on to a leg?”

Peary highlights the “excellent camera work by Bill Butler and special effects by Robert A Mattey under difficult conditions,” which have been discussed at length in various documentaries about the making of the film. He notes that the “first attack is a shocker”:

… the “entire boat sequence is nerve-wracking”:

… and “solid performances from the three leads (whose volatile conversations on the boat are quite enjoyable) give this film” — which “became a box-office phenomenon” — “real class”.

Indeed, this breakthrough film for Spielberg — who apparently was convinced each day that he would be fired, and that his career in filmmaking would come to a premature end — is arguably his best. I agree with Richard Scheib in his review for Moria, where he writes: “Spielberg demonstrates a real mastery – one that he has never fully demonstrated again – in detail, in character and most of all in the ability to manipulate the audience with shock and suspense.”

Note: Of special interest during COVID-19 times is how spot-on the film is in naming the political and financial drivers behind reckless disregard for public safety. As the mayor points out (where have we heard this before?): “Amity is a summer town — and we need summer dollars.”

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Robert Shaw as Quint
  • Roy Scheider as Brody
  • Richard Dreyfuss as Hooper
  • Memorable supporting performances
  • Fine special effects
  • Impressive at-sea footage (shot at no small cost to the cast, crew, and producers)
  • Bill Butler’s cinematography

  • An excellent script by Peter Benchley and Carl Gottlieb
  • Verna Fields’ editing
  • John Williams’ iconic score

Must See?
Yes, as an exciting and enduring classic.

Categories

  • Genuine Classic

(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)

Links:

Piranha (1978)

Piranha (1978)

“The water is filled with carnivorous fish: piranha.”

Synopsis:
When an insurance investigator (Heather Menzies) teams up with an alcoholic recluse (Bradford Dillman) to determine what happened to a pair of teenagers who mysteriously disappeared, they learn about a doctor (Kevin McCarthy) overseeing a government-sponsored project to breed lethal piranhas, which wreak havoc when they’re released into the nearby river and beyond — including a summer camp and a water resort.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Barbara Steele Films
  • Detectives and Private Eyes
  • Dick Miller Films
  • Horror Films
  • Joe Dante Films
  • John Sayles Films
  • Keenan Wynn Films
  • Kevin McCarthy Films
  • Killer Animals
  • Scientists
  • Summer Camp

Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary rather uncharitably argues that “Roger Corman’s low-budget Jaws variation, directed by Joe Dante and scripted by John Sayles,” “should be condensed to 15 minutes.” He writes that “it becomes annoying how Dante and Sayles put the usual roadblocks in the path of Dillman and Menzies to kill screen time,” given that “there can be only one attack at the camp and one at the resort because after that nobody would go back into the water” — and “as it is, those two attacks, which should take about 10 seconds each since the swimmers are about 10 feet from land, go on forever.” He further argues that while “Paul Bartel, as the taskmaster camp head:

… and Dick Miller, as the money-hungry resort owner:

… are funny,” their “broad humor doesn’t mesh with the tongue-in-cheek satirical upstream story [?] with Dillman and Menzies,” and it “should all have been played straight.”

I think Peary is being overly harsh on this flick, which effectively builds off of Jaws while offering plenty of genuine chills and thrills. The idea of genetically modified fish with teeth swarming in the water is enough to terrify me — and it’s pretty ridiculous to complain that swimmers would get to shore within 10 seconds if they’re being attacked and bitten to death by ravenous hordes of critters. Meanwhile, plenty of authentic suspense is built into Sayles’s screenplay — i.e., when the raft Menzies and Dillman are using to flee starts unraveling due to the piranhas eating away at its bindings:

… and when Dillman is racing against time to prevent a dam operator from releasing the water:

… and all the sequences in which innocent swimmers (including plenty of kids) are about be swarmed.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Plenty of suspenseful moments

  • An effective horror film score

Must See?
No, but it’s worth a look.

Links:

Re-Animator (1985)

Re-Animator (1985)

“A good doctor knows when to stop.”

Synopsis:
A demented medical student (Jeffrey Combs) rents a room from a fellow student (Bruce Abbott) whose girlfriend (Barbara Crampton) is the daughter of their school’s strait-laced dean (Robert Sampson). Soon Combs’ passion to utilize a reviving agent comes to a head when evil Dr. Hill (David Gale) finds out about it, and gory rivalry ensues in the morgue.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Horror Films
  • Mad Doctors and Scientists
  • Zombies

Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary writes that he’s astonished this “ludicrous horror movie, directed by innovative stage director Stuart Gordon of Chicago’s Organic Theater” somehow “got some good reviews”, noting that he hates “to see new filmmakers parody horror films when it’s obvious that if they had to make a serious one themselves they’d be lost.” He argues that the “endless gore becomes self-satisfying, as in The Evil Dead; rather than being a means to shock viewers out of complacency, it is there to impress everyone who gets a kick out of new splatter effects.” He further asserts that “there are no scary scenes, just a lot of streaming blood, crushed heads, decomposed bodies, [and] ugliness.” He ends his review by referring to Re-Animator as “amateurish and surprisingly unoriginal.” Interestingly, Peary’s views on gore-filled horror flicks of the 1980s and late 1970s — i.e., Dawn of the Dead (1978) — seem to be at direct odds with cult horror fans, many of whom embraced this new direction and adore exactly the elements of such films that bother Peary. While I’m no lover of the genre myself, I can appreciate the dark humor that went into taking the mad doctor/scientist flick to its most extreme “logical” conclusion — the storyline coheres, and thus it “works” on the level it’s aiming for. Meanwhile, it’s amusing seeing a mad doctor (Combs, very effective in the lead role) bested by someone even madder (and far more evil) than he.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Jeffrey Combs as Herbert West
  • Effectively over-the-top gore and special effects

Must See?
No, though it’s worth a one-time look for its cult status.

Links:

Cars That Ate Paris, The / Cars That Eat People, The (1974)

Cars That Ate Paris, The / Cars That Eat People, The (1974)

“You ever seen a bloke with a foot up his nose?”

Synopsis:
When his brother (Rick Scully) is killed in a freak car accident in Paris, Australia, a meek man (Terry Camilleri) ends up living with the town’s paternalistic mayor (John Meillon) and his wife (Melissa Jaffer), gradually learning more about how Parisian citizens survive on scavenged items from intentional accidents, the local doctor (Kevin Miles) performs lobotomizing operations on the survivors, and rebellious youths race their “odd-looking automobiles”.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Australian Films
  • Horror Films
  • Mad Doctors and Scientists
  • Peter Weir Films

Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary writes that “Peter Weir’s debut was this creepy, comical, unsettling, one-of-a-kind ‘horror’ film” about a “shantytown off the beaten track” filled with “weirdos”. He notes that “Weir completely keeps viewers off guard” so that while “we laugh”, the “sinister environment makes us feel uneasy.”

He describes this most unusual flick as a “send-up of youth/drive-in films, westerns (a stand-off is filmed like a Sergio Leone shootout):

… and horror films” — but “it can also be seen as an attack on Australia’s car culture, the acquisitive materialism of the bourgeoisie, and the oppressive autocracies present in small towns.”

It’s hard to know what else to say about this movie except… it’s weird. Really weird. Be forewarned.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Memorable imagery



Must See?
No, though it’s worth a one-time look for its cult status and historical importance in Australian cinema.

Links:

Maniac (1980)

Maniac (1980)

“This has got to stop! It’s silly — and it’s not getting us anywhere.”

Synopsis:
A deeply disturbed and traumatized man (Joe Spinell) goes on a psychotic killing and scalping spree across New York City, eventually dating a photographer (Caroline Munro) who may (or may not) be able to break through to him.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Horror Films
  • Psychopaths
  • Serial Killers

Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary writes that that this “indefensible slice-and-dice film” — which “has found a cult among fans of the master of gore special effects, Tom Savini” — features Spinell (“a supporting player in many more respectable urban dramas”) playing a “sicko” who “kills a prostitute, a nurse who he chases through a deserted subway station, a young woman and her boyfriend (Savini)…, and a model.” Meanwhile, “in a weird sequence in which Spinell seems to impersonate Robert De Niro, he courts [a] beautiful photographer (Caroline Munro), who for some reason responds to this fat, ugly man.” Peary points out that “the acting is bad, the script hasn’t one clever moment, and the murders are repulsive — but what is most objectionable is how director William Lustig prolongs the death scenes of the nurse and the model so that they are killed long after Spinell could have done away with them.” Peary presumably included this title in GFTFF given its cult following (ew!), as well as the controversy surrounding its release, but there’s no need at all to check this one out.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Effectively creepy sets

Must See?
No; skip this one.

Links: