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The Pyx (1973)

R  |   |  Horror, Thriller, Crime  |  October 1973 (USA)
5.3
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 527 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 17 critic

A detective investigating the death of a heroin-addicted prostitute uncovers evidence pointing to the existence of a murderous devil cult.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Title: The Pyx (1973)

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
...
Dt. Sgt. Jim Henderson
...
Dt. Sgt. Pierre Paquette
Jean-Louis Roux ...
Keerson
Yvette Brind'amour ...
Meg
Jacques Godin ...
Superintendent
Lee Broker ...
Herbie Lafram
Terry Haig ...
Jimmy
Robin Gammell ...
Worther
Louise Rinfret ...
Sandra
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Charlie Beauchamp ...
(as Charles Beauchamp)
Robert Beaulieu
Pierre-Paul Bélisle
Gilles Desormeaux
Jean Dubost
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Storyline

A detective investigating the death of a heroin-addicted prostitute uncovers evidence pointing to the existence of a murderous devil cult.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Her business is pleasure. Until her date with ... The Pyx. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller | Crime

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

October 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Hooker Cult Murders  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

CAD 1,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The eerie chant for the satanic ceremony was done by speeding up the recording. See more »

Connections

Featured in Katarina's Nightmare Theater: The Pyx (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Song of Solomon Chapter 3 verses 1-4
Karen Black
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User Reviews

 
An intimate glimpse into the heart of a lost soul…and missed opportunity for something great.
15 August 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

'The Pyx' is a claustrophobic murder mystery about experienced detective Jim Henderson (Christopher Plummer) who investigates the death of a heroin addicted prostitute Elizabeth (Karen Black) after she supposedly committed suicide by jumping from a high-rise building. However, as Henderson encounters the various shady and unfeeling characters he begins to delve deeper into the mystery to find instead that Elizabeth has fallen prey to a sinister Satanic cult.

However, despite approaching 'The Pyx' with the best intentions (as after reading a superficial plot summary it brought 'Rosemary's Baby' to mind) it remains fundamentally a patchy film which just about manages to keep its head above water. The film clearly has artistic aspirations in telling the story through two separate strands: one following Henderson's investigation, and the other following the final movements of Elizabeth herself, and constantly cutting between each strand. This is a nice idea but sometimes it seems a little labored and significantly affects the pacing. This said, on a couple of occasions the dual plots converge and scenes of genuine pathos result. In fact, I feel compelled to mention that after about 40 minutes or so I found myself checking my watch and contemplating stopping the film but the scene with Elizabeth injecting heroin and experiencing a drug-induced flashback of happier times which then cuts suddenly to Henderson watching a rope outlining her body being picked up by children for a skipping rope was incredibly poignant and convinced me to continue watching. Another captivating scene was when Elizabeth meets the Satanic head honcho for the first time on his boat and is subjected to the equivalent of psychological rape which I found as unnerving as I found the previously mentioned scene beautiful.

So, the strength of the film is clearly the characterisation of Elizabeth. However, it seems that the vividness of the character and her trials asks questions to other aspects of the film which it fails to answer as it is essentially one long character sketch rather than a story in its own right. As a result, the film is let down by serious pacing issues and an anti-climatic climax (with a Satanist as far from the charismatic and alluring Roman Castevet in 'Rosemary's Baby' as can be). Indeed, it's debatable that the film even needs the whole Satanic thing at all. All of this meant that when the film finished I was slightly annoyed at feeling it had taken so long to tell relatively little and ever so slightly happy that it had ended.

Overall, I find it a difficult film to recommend, and wouldn't be surprised if people who watch it don't like it…but I am sure that most who watch the film come away with a peculiar feeling of having seen an intimate glimpse into the heart of a lost soul, which by itself is something the majority of films fail to ever do.

*********************

Public domain movie. See it free here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMpLo9xG7co

Watch the trailer here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0qXW-4cKOg&list=UU07_ffsSbmp4slD_PiH5cUA


2 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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