|Plot Outline: Our movie opens with a murder scene in Los Angeles; as a young nurse is preparing to unwind from her shift in her home at night, a local serial strangler/sex assaulter attacks and strangles the nurse and has intercourse with her corpse. After immediately associating ourselves with the killer, we soon discover he keeps himself up to date with his deep-seated psychosis by tuning in and calling up Dr. Gale, a practicing psychiatrist who runs an hourly radio talk show for individuals with mild problems (sort of like Travesty Ltd.’s Rock and Roll Doctor, just not funny). In any case, she deals with various people in person and over the phone as the killer somehow gains some sort of attachment to her and he shows this by killing one of her patients as according to her discussed-in-person problems as well as performing his killing rounds. In the meantime, the police are on to our bulky killer with various help, but even with their mounting evidence, they run into consistent dead ends until the killer finally kills a caller for Dr. Gale to hear live over the air and she insists on aiding in stopping the killer.|
As mentioned earlier, the sleaze of the film was rather well done in the sense that our killer was also a photographer (forgot to mention that earlier, but that’s what a movie like this does to you) who would photograph his victims defiled corpses and would sell them for a good sum of money (because they were strangled, I guess no one would suspect, but it still gives you the creeps). We watch the killer enter this seedy Holly Wood underworld of pimps and drug pushing nonchalantly like a scene of social acceptance, most of the fellows not knowing/caring whether this guy was the local serial killer or not. Also, killer is fairly well acted. Now I know, I consistently give kudos to actors playing convincing killer roles, but I feel that the actors deserve it; it’s no easy task playing the antagonist, especially when the character requires the actor to perform odd deeds and forms of murder and make them convincing. I don’t know how long the guy who played as the rapist in Deliverance had to put up with people walking by him in airports singing the banjo & guitar song under their breath, but the guy deserves credit for his role as it challenges your social life regardless and may impede or advance your acting career. With my analogous digression in place, Nicholas Worth as Kirk the killer was exceptionally good, seeing that the exposition and credibility of his character was really all up to him in an inferable manner. There were no expository flash backs regarding his trauma and there wasn’t enough time or lines for him to completely express his character’s feelings lucidly, just three out of eight spots of exposition that adhere closely to his problems that in some small way, one can relate. I wasn’t expecting a character study out of this mind you, but just enough depth of the character so he is not just some faceless villain that kills SOLELY because it feels good and makes us want to watch him die faster…the character is still icky and hateful, but not enough to emit so strong a feeling of vindictive utilitarianism for his actions that doesn’t question understanding, which brings me straight into what doesn’t work in the movie…man oh man, where to start?
First off, if you’re going to have a perverted killer strangling young women, make sure not ALL of the victims are stupid and/or mentally challenged with little exceptions; give em’ a chance to struggle and evade the killer so the audience gets a feeling of fear or terror (at least The Toolbox Murders gave three out of the four victims a fighting chance)! Second, if you’re going to have a police force dedicated to catching the killer, make sure they’re competent! Before murdering a second victim, Kirk followed her five times, enough for her to see his face, recognize his car from the previous three drive-bys and act upon the stalking. On top of that, Kirk left his hand and finger prints all over the side door knob of the victims house, before he battered the front of it down. They may have found a Viet Kong coin in the stocking used for strangulation hinting he must’ve be a Vietnam war veteran, they may have found pubic hairs and semen samples, but they never dusted for finger prints or made any other conclusions from the samples rather than another link up to a similar murder?! Another brilliant emphasis of this type of police work was character Lt. McCabe being wry, being highly one dimensional (just like COUNTLESS low budget Science Fiction films) and pulling off Joe Don Baker tactics, intertwined with gunning down your only living witness and shooting an unarmed man dead simply because he’s too strong to be contained (and they don’t get points for ripping off tidbits from the climaxes to Eegah or House on the Edge of the Park neither [betcha’ that guy isn’t gonna fall in the pool])! If a case is really THAT perplexing, call in the FBI, not a clairvoyant or a phony professor! Third, if you’re going to hurtle forth cannon fodder, make sure they don’t always act so impetuously dumbfounded that once their own house is being bombarded by a human tank, they just crawl out of bed and crouch down in a bright inconspicuous corner of their room or never think of escaping through the side door of their own home instead of running for the obviously blocked door!! Fourth, in lieu of the incompetent police force, make sure your other helpers such as psychiatrists aren’t so unbelievably fake (this includes the lead doctor!) that we believe more of the incompetent officer’s straight-forward, black and white rhetoric rather than the professionals as they are either too derivative or dead pan stoic to be believable! Fifth, if the movie wanted atmosphere, they should’ve made sure that the music didn’t belong more appropriately in a Nintendo fighting game!! Sixth, I know some movies desire padding, but intertwining it with a huge assault worth of sexual comic relief made me forget I was watching a horror movie…that’s not good.