“There’s a maniac loose out there — and in times like these, we ought to keep an eye out for one another.”
A highly religious, sexually repressed woman (May Britt) who lives on a farm with her uncle (Cameron Mitchell) fears for her life when several local girls are raped and killed.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Cameron Mitchell Films
- Murder Mystery
- Serial Killers
- Sexual Repression
Herb Freed’s unusual psycho-sexual thriller starts out strong but ends on a confusing whimper. For the first 45 minutes or so, things look promising: a series of well-edited flashbacks to Britt’s childhood (she’s a complex character) provide some intrigue, and we’re kept in suspense about the identity of the killer. Unfortunately, the screenplay’s logic eventually falls apart, and by the final sequences — when we’re finally told the (convoluted) back story of what’s come before — we’ve given up caring. Although Britt isn’t a great actress, she manages to effectively portray her character’s paranoia, and it’s wonderful to see Aldo Ray in a bit role; others, however, don’t fare nearly so well, and aren’t helped by the sloppy script.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Effective editing, particularly in the opening shots
- Aldo Ray in a too-small role as a tippling sheriff who’s concerned about Britt
No. Though this is listed as a Sleeper in the back of Peary’s book, it’s not really worth seeking out.