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The Sadist (1963)

Unrated | | Thriller | 1967 (West Germany)
Three people driving into Los Angeles for a Dodgers game have car trouble and pull off into an old wrecking yard where they are held at bay by a bloodthirsty psycho and his crazy girlfriend.




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Complete credited cast:
Charles A. 'Charlie' Tibbs
Ed Stiles
Marilyn Manning ...
Judy Bradshaw
Don Russell ...
Carl Oliver
Helen Hovey ...
Doris Page


Three people driving into Los Angeles for a Dodgers game have car trouble and pull off into an old wrecking yard where they are held at bay by a bloodthirsty psycho and his crazy girlfriend.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Sweet Baby's toy was a rattler... See more »




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Release Date:

1967 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Profile of Terror  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


This is believed to be the first feature film based on real life serial killers Charles Starkweather and Caril Fugate. Mainstream Hollywood would not produce films inspired by the pair until a decade after this one. A number of films were inspired by the duo (some very loosely) and included such major examples as Terrence Malick's Badlands (1973) and Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers (1994) See more »


Carl Oliver's position against the car in the first scene with Charlie changes between shots. He varies from being against the fender near the engine bay to being next to the driver's door. See more »


Charles A. 'Charlie' Tibbs: I have been hurt by others. And I will hurt them. I will make them suffer like I have suffered.
See more »

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User Reviews

WAY above average b-movie fare
11 January 2006 | by (Texas) – See all my reviews

While I've long been familiar with z-movies "Eegah!" and "The Wild Guitar," this film, from the same people, slipped under my radar for years – which is really a shame. Every bit as good as any big-studio, low-budget production from the era (perhaps even better than most), "The Sadist" is truly a gem that'll never receive the recognition it deserves.

Loosely based on serial killer Charles Starkweather, Arch Hall Jr plays Charlie Tibbs, a psychotic delinquent who, aided by his girlfriend, holds three travelers hostage at gunpoint as they attempt to fix their broken-down car, which Charlie intends to use for his getaway. The film is slowly paced and has little plot, but there's so much going for it – particularly as the tension begins to mount. The acting is fantastic all around, not the hokey z-acting that I anticipated. The characterizations are rich and layered, Hall being a completely convincing standout (despite his "Cabbage Patch Kid" looks). The cinematography is fantastically detailed, with a variety of haunting visuals and innovative shots. The musical score is unobtrusive and perfectly suits the on screen action (and lack thereof).

The thing that astounds me most is how well this film has aged. The junkyard location is sort of timeless, the dialogue isn't stilted and dated like most other films of the era and no pop culture (except Coca-Cola) date it to any specific place and time. Even "Psycho," a film whose success they'd intended to ride the coattails of, is far more dated than this one. It's a psychological character movie, pure and simple. And it's because of the simplicity of the whole thing that it'll continue to stand the test of time. The one and only complaint that I have is the title, that doesn't quite suit it. Nonetheless, it's a great classic thriller and I hope that it will find the audience that it deserves on DVD.

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