A formerly institutionalized young man (Anthony Perkins) meets up with a cute, sexy high school cheerleader (Tuesday Weld) and pretends to be a CIA agent to get her interested in him while she responds to his fantasy all too willingly. This, combined with her adult craving for sensual excitement, adds up to a potentially explosive pairing indeed. And explode it does. Written by
Unnerving crime drama with psychological overtones
Eight years after "Psycho", Anthony Perkins, who seemed to quickly lose his way in ill-suited romantic dramas of the mid-'60s, finally gets a role here well-tailored to his wild-eyed personality, that of an introvert with simmering disorders forced by circumstance into playing "normal". A former teen arsonist in Massachusettes is released from the institution as a young man and is given a job at the lumber mill; he's perpetually wrapped up in CIA fantasies and conspiracy theories, and is thrilled when he meets up with a 17-year-old beauty from the local high school who is happy to play along with his games. Adapted from Stephen Geller's book "She Let Him Continue", this is a peculiar, well-made and written cult movie which works itself under your skin. Perkins lets himself relax a bit on-camera and gives one of his most notable performances, and Tuesday Weld (despite being a few years too old for her role) rarely strikes a false note as his new girlfriend with a somewhat sordid past herself (one that mirrors her mother's, whom she hates). The concluding events aren't really satisfying (with echoes of "Psycho" besides), and the circular plot-device posed at the tag doesn't work at all, but the performances really drive this thing, making it an engrossing and memorable sleeper. **1/2 from ****
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