“The world is full of moldy figs: they’re the squares who eat, sleep, go to work, vegetate, and while they vegetate — I swing.”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
The intersection of their two characters seems designed to provide psychological complexity to the script, but instead just leaves us cringing. The rape scenes are disturbing, as expected — but what’s genuinely shocking is how Cochran treats the victims he interrogates, essentially accusing them of complicity in the crimes. (We’re reminded that his former wife was a tramp, which excuses his behavior, I guess.) Meanwhile, when Cochran’s current wife learns she’s pregnant but isn’t sure whether the father is Cochran or Danton, the storyline veers into a truly bizarre pro-Choice subplot that must be seen and heard to be believed. There’s some curiosity value to be had in the sight of a short-haired Vampira in Beatnik get-up, spouting a moronic poem about parenthood while stroking a white rat perched on her shoulder, but this ultimately just feels wildly incongruous to the plot. And while Mamie van Doren brings a bit of life to the second half of the film as a would-be victim, her presence once again feels superfluous, and is clearly designed simply to bring sexual star-power to the film.
What’s most astonishing is that the screenplay for this clunker was co-written by the estimable Richard Matheson (who clearly must not have had any final say in what appeared on screen).
Redeeming Qualities and Moments: