An English Professor tries to deal with his wife leaving him, the arrival of his editor who has been waiting for his book for seven years, and the various problems that his friends and associates involve him in.
When young Jay Moriarity discovers that the mythic Mavericks surf break, one of the biggest waves on Earth, exists just miles from his Santa Cruz home, he enlists the help of local legend Frosty Hesson to train him to survive it.
Straight-laced Rose breaks off relations with her party girl sister, Maggie, over an indiscretion involving Rose's boyfriend. The chilly atmosphere is broken with the arrival of Ella, the grandmother neither sister knew existed.
Here's an "Easy Rider" - inspired plot with the combination of "West Side Story" stars. Richard Beymer falls in love with Lana Wood (sister Natalie wasn't available). They need cash so they... See full summary »
Disappointed by the box-office generated under its original release title "Sweet Kill", Roger Corman had Curtis Hanson shoot additional sex scenes over a period of two days, to spice-up the film, and retitled it and re-released it as The Arousers. It didn't help the film's box-office much. See more »
Current A-list director Curtis Hanson's first 1970 film portrayal of a sexually-deviant gym teacher and serial killer features an incredibly creepy performance by Tab Hunter which is so good, it raises the quality of the whole movie. Unfortunately, the production values are rather inferior: the film has the flat lighting of a TV-movie, mixed sound quality, an underdeveloped script, and a few embarrassingly awkward scenes - one with Hunter giving a male student advice about girls that reminded me of a cheap educational filmstrip, and another with police finding marijuana in a character's bathtub. With all of the realistic serial killer films which have come out since this film, it probably had greater originality when first released, as an early attempt to portray a serial killer's actions squarely in the middle of mundane everyday reality. However, part of the creepy quality here is that Hunter portrays a character who seems exceedingly normal on the outside but is obviously incredibly disturbed. The whole sexual impotence aspect of his compulsions thankfully remains low-key, as simply slipping this guy some Viagra would probably not solve his difficulties.
All in all, definitely not a bad time-filler or debut for Hanson; there are a couple of memorable shock scenes. However, for a much more substantial treatment of similar subject matter, I suggest Robert Altman's very obscure 1964 film "Nightmare in Chicago."
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?