A librarian devotes her life to caring for her wheelchair-bound tyrannical father after being stood up at the altar. She fantasizes about causing deaths of the men who most wronged her and ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Louise Elmore
Emily Perkins
Mrs. Perkins
Fern Barry ...
Mrs. Mooney
Mrs. Fowler
Dick Welsbacher ...
Mr. Farley - the Missing Persons Agent
Joyce Cavarozzi ...
Michael LeRoy Rhodes ...
Sailor (as Michael Rhodes)
Ron Luce ...
Robert Orin Farnsworth
Phil Speary ...
Mr. Lester - the Travel Agent
Patrick Brennan ...
David Perkins
Mark Andrews ...
Marty - the Gardener
Terry Troutt ...


A librarian devotes her life to caring for her wheelchair-bound tyrannical father after being stood up at the altar. She fantasizes about causing deaths of the men who most wronged her and finds joy only with her pet monkey. Her monkey disappears and a shocking past is revealed. Written by Bill Smith <bsmith30@ix.netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Louise's life downstairs is a living hell... and upstairs lurks a haunting nightmare! See more »


Drama | Thriller | Horror


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

October 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El desván  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Marjorie Eaton is the only cast member to return from The Killing Kind (1973), though she portrays a different character. See more »


In the scene where Louise pushes her father, played by Ray Milland down the hill, you can see that Milland's stunt double looks nothing like him. He is a man with brown hair and a beard, when Milland was completely bald in the film. See more »


Features Deadly Games (1982) See more »


Who Cares
Music by Hod David Schudson
Lyrics by Maggie Thompson
Performed by Kelly Garrett
See more »

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User Reviews

Works if you're in the right mood...
15 June 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is NOT a horror film. Like its "prequel," "The Killing Kind," it's more a psychological study of how nasty parents can really mess up their children's lives, and how ironically nasty life can be.

Louise, brilliantly played by the wonderful, under-utilized and now-departed actress Carrie Snodgrass, is a spinster librarian with a hateful, controlling, wheelchair-bound dad played with unashamed evil glee by Ray Milland. Louise is depressed beyond belief--she's never gotten over the loss of her fiancée who disappeared 19 years ago, or an accident that led to her father being in a wheelchair. She does anything she can to cope: attempts suicide, masturbates, has a one-night stand, plans vacations she'll never have the courage to take, retires from her job and even takes care of a chimpanzee. But she's not a balanced person--she constantly fantasizes about rejecting her abusive and mean father and loses track of reality on occasion. She was admits to being involved in a library arson, and that she'd do it again. She drinks a little too. But things seem to be going her way at last when Louise makes a friend out of a co-worker, a sincere young woman who boosts Louise's confidence, and gives her hope, sets her on the road to recovering her self-esteem and her life.

But, as in "Carrie," happiness is not in the cards for Louise, and it all comes to an end in a series of ironic surprises, and a stormy conclusion in a creepy attic where unpleasant truths are finally revealed.

This is not a horror movie--it's not scary or gory at all. You have to be in the right mood to enjoy this movie. You have to be depressed, and feeling hateful, and old, and grief over the loss of someone or something you love to really get into this movie. You have to feel like the world is an unfair, cruel place to live, and be interested in a movie that confirms your worst fears...the world IS against you! There are some wonderful moments of black humor--the secret Ray Milland has been hiding about his health is somehow so cruel it's almost funny, and listening to Carrie Snodgrass break out of character and scream is a wonderful experience. Some of Louise's fantasies show her screaming or acting sly and seductive in that unusual voice of hers, giving just a hint of what Ms. Snodgrass might have delivered had more roles come her way. Ray Milland's hatred of the "Dicky the chimp" is hilarious, even as it degrades a once great actor in his declining years to be in such a role in, basically, an exploitation film. But I can't stop laughing when he first sees Dickey..."What in God's name is THAT!??"

It's not a great film, and hard to categorize; I have no idea who would have put up money for something like this, let alone how they got the actors they did. It's more sad than scary, and you really have to be in the right mood to watch a character who's life was pretty rotten almost get better, then fall into a bottomless pit of hopelessness.

Or maybe the implication is that Louise went on after this movie, and was able to start her life over, having broken the spell of the past that kept her from moving forward. Somehow, I highly doubt it though...!

8 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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