Thursday, September 5, 2013

"Schizoid" (1980) d/David Paulsen

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Sorry about the delay between reviews lately, I'm sure you probably feel like that forgotten anole lizard in the barren aquarium in the corner of some irresponsible little bastard's bedroom by now, your sunken eyes frantically scanning the dirty glass for a mere wax worm or micro cricket worth of sustenance. Hang tight, my woprophiles, I've got an impressively opulent stack of genre movies we'll be looking at this month, and leading it all off, is a surprisingly engaging American pseudo-giallo disguised as typical slasher fare of the era (the one sheet is a dead giveaway, I dunno), that you might otherwise slag off if you're searching for the blade-generated tomato paste so often promised in knifer flicks. If you did that, you'd be missing out on a rare subdued Kinski (save for some creepy incestual tension in one spot), Marianna Hill, who you might remember in "High Plains Drifter" as Ghost Eastwood's objet d'viol, Donna (Jaws 2) Wilkes, Craig (Body Double) Wasson, and hell, throw Jim from Taxi in there, and slap a silly mustache on him, to boot. Let's roll...

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"Uv corss I'm not vatching you get undresst. Don't be silly."
When Julie (Hill), a newspaper advice columnist who's going through a sensitive divorce with her sweaty husband (Wasson), starts receiving increasingly unnerving anonymous cut-n-paste letters with murder as the subject, it just so happens to coincide with a mounting body count; comprised mostly of her fellow therapy group members, all of whom seemingly had been secretly lovers of Pieter (Kinski), the therapist himself, before learning the fatal mistake of playing with a big-assed pair of scissors, or more importantly, playing with a shadowy figure in foppish hat and leather gloves that happens to be wielding said sizeable, sharpened snips.Whether Pieter is the culprit or not, he still manages to peep-tom his own daughter Alizzin,errr..Alison (Wilkes) in the buff to score magnificently on the creep-o-meter, regardless. But the creeps to choose from in this lousy burg are many, as we soon find out.

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The Chooper got her, and we knew it.
Besides the polyamorous shrink (who's also taken to having his sexual way wiss,errr...with Julie by now) and Julie's clammy ex, there's Gilbert the lonely maintenance man (Lloyd), there's the boys in blue who treat the psychotic letters like a big joke(, and little Alizzin, err...Allison's not without suspicion herself, with that incendiary jealousy of Julie, and the drawer full of cut-out letters, and all. When Julie finds out it's Pieter's daughter behind the letters, she draws her out into a gun-frontation with her husband and the therapist, who's soon on the scene. It was the sweat-drenched Doug, afterall, who kidnaps Allison and Julie (who hates hairbrushes, apparently) and duels with Pieter in the dark (you haven't lived until you've seen a hammer-wielding Kinski square off against Wasson) until an untied Allie plunges his own trademark scissors into his back as he's beating the therapist and accusing him of stealing his wife, and, of being a nazi, as well. You're thinking of Eroi all'inferno (1974), Craig...err, Doug. As Doug slumps lifelessly over a piece of overturned furniture, the cops finally come in.

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"Zose frozen peas in zere are turnink me on, baby..."
After completing Savage Weekend(1979) and tonight's review, Paulsen went on to direct episodes of Dallas, Dynasty, and even Knots Landing, ferchrissakes. Though Schizoid might be a little too dry for the modern slasher crowd, especially those of the 80's camp, fans of Kinski will do well to add this one to their "to see" queue's in the near future. It's nothing too exceptional, but highly watchable, anyway. Two big ones.

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"Playing Twister at her age, she shoulda known better..."
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mottikod said...

He smoked more than you do.

beedubelhue said...

Let's not go overboard, son.


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