I Dismember Mama (1972)

I Dismember Mama (1972)

“My mother’s a whore; in the middle ages, she would have been stoned to death.”

After attempting to strangle a nurse (Elaine Partnow) and then killing an attendant (James Tartan), a deeply disturbed psychopath (Zooey Hall) escapes from his mental institution intent on murdering his mother (Joanne Moore Jordan), who naively believes a psychiatrist’s (Frank Whiteman) claim that Hall can be “cured”. But when Hall rapes and murders his mother’s personal assistant (Marlene Tracy), then kidnaps Tracy’s naive young daughter Annie (Geri Reischl) and “marries” her in a hotel room, a detective (Greg Mullavey) knows he has no time to lose in capturing “poor Albert” (Hall).

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Horror Films
  • Insanity and Insane Asylums
  • Serial Killers

This embarrassment of a psycho-thriller belongs nowhere near a must-see film list. It’s disturbing not only to think about this film being written and made, but to contemplate its hypothetical fan base. The film’s original title — Poor Albert and Little Annie — strongly hints we should remain sympathetic to this monstrous man:

who befriends “pure” Annie much like Frankenstein’s monster befriends the little girl he drowns in a lake. (Albert courts Annie by going boating on a lake… Yes, the ‘homage’ is that explicit.)

Hall’s other notable role was as a sadistic prisoner in Fortune and Men’s Eyes (1971), so I guess he was riding a convenient wave of stereotyped casting.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

Must See?
For goodness’ sake, no. Listed as a Camp Classic, a Cult Movie, and (appropriately) Trash in the back of Peary’s book.


One thought on “I Dismember Mama (1972)

  1. First and last viewing.

    Mostly inept and – worse – surprisingly dull. By the time the nonsensical conclusion arrives, all logic is thrown into a narrative grinder.

    The film’s composer takes every opportunity to make himself seem important, in a heavy-handed way. The score becomes mildly amusing midway when a montage (of all things) is given a sympathetic theme song (‘Poor Albert’) for embellishment.

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