Vortex (1982)

Vortex (1982)

“There was something suspicious in his voice — I had the feeling I was the last ditch for him.”

Detective Angel Powers (Lydia Lunch) attempts to uncover the truth behind a murder case involving corporate espionage.


  • Detectives and Private Eyes
  • Dick Miller Films
  • Experimental Films
  • Murder Mystery

Response to Peary’s Review:
As Peary notes, this “curious cult film” — an experimental mix of film noir and sci-fi, written and directed by underground favorites Seth B. and Beth B. — “tends to be slow and confusing at times”. Indeed, because the narrative is so difficult to follow, its primary interest lies in the stunning visuals and pulsating soundtrack. Vortex won’t be appealing to most, and was likely included in Peary’s book simply because of Lunch’s one-time notoriety.

Redeeming Qualities:

  • Haunting, creative visuals

  • An eerie soundtrack

Must See?
No, unless you’re curious about experimental indie films before the age of video.


One thought on “Vortex (1982)

  1. First viewing. Not at all a must.

    Whatever possible appeal this midnight movie had on initial release has proved evanescent and of the wind, leaving no trail of ‘cult item’. I don’t come across mention of it.

    Apparently it didn’t matter to the filmmakers whether their storyline was clear or not. Seems they just hit on a mix of Raymond Chandler, corporate intrigue and the Book of Revelation, and ran willy-nilly with it.

    Of course, with Lunch as ‘Marlowe’, there’s not much in the way of hope. James Russo seems to think he’s in a serious piece of work and overacts accordingly. On the minimal upside, we have William Rice and Ann Magnuson (so memorable as one of the first victims in ‘The Hunger’) actually lending acting styles appropriate for the generally haphazard (sometimes woeful) script.

    Could it have been better? For the most part, it’s too dull to tell.

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