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Delirium (1979)

 -  Thriller  -  July 1979 (USA)
3.9
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Ratings: 3.9/10 from 134 users  
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An ex-soldier is hired by local right-wingers as a vigilante to clean up criminals and street people. However, he freaks out and starts killing off everybody.

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Title: Delirium (1979)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Turk Cekovsky ...
Paul Dollinger
Debi Chaney ...
Susan Norcross
Terry TenBroek ...
Larry Mead (as Terry Ten Broek)
Barron Winchester ...
Eric Stem
Bob Winters ...
Donald Andrews
Garrett Bergfeld ...
Mark
Nick Panouzis ...
Charlie Gunther
Harry Gorsuch ...
Capt. Hearn
Chris Chronopolis ...
Det. Parker
Lloyd Schattyn ...
Det. Simms
Jack Garvey ...
Devlin
Mike Kalist ...
Specter
Myron Kozman ...
Wells
Pat Knapko ...
Jenny Thompson
Letty Garris ...
Hitchhiker
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Storyline

An ex-soldier is hired by local right-wingers as a vigilante to clean up criminals and street people. However, he freaks out and starts killing off everybody.

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Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

July 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Psycho Puppet  »

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User Reviews

 
They shall have murder wherever they go…
12 November 2012 | by (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK) – See all my reviews

For many, many years I had a certain fascination with this movie. I saw its video cover reproduced in a magazine called 'Halls of Horror' way back in the early 80's. The artwork showed a bald man in sun glasses firing a pistol, a woman screaming and a disembodied hand clutching a bloodied hatchet; the tag-line said 'they shall have murder wherever they go…'. I don't know, it may not sound like much now but at the time this strange and slightly lurid poster fascinated me. When I soon after discovered that this film had made it on to the notorious video nasty list my interest just grew even stronger. Looking back on it now and having finally seen Delirium I think I can better understand the pull of that video cover and it's actually reflected in the film itself. The poster is really somewhat odd in that it mixes genre iconography – its part horror, part action-thriller. And in essence that's what the movie itself is too. It combines genres in a somewhat unusual way. It's kind of a slasher mixed in with a vigilante flick, with a dash of post-Vietnam exploitation thrown in for good measure. This crazy mish-mash of styles is one of the things that makes Delirium interesting.

The story revolves around a secret group of Vietnam vets who are hired by businessmen to administer extreme justice to criminals who escape the law. One of the group goes on a serial killing rampage murdering a series of young women.

It isn't really very surprising that this one made the video nasty list. It's not exactly overly graphically violent but it has a pretty clear streak of misogyny running through it. The killer essentially goes around killing young hot women in some scenes that are pretty lurid. It does have to be said though that the psychopath is killed off a little too early, seeing as he is probably the most interesting part of the story. The vigilante side of the narrative makes up the rest of the movie. The head honcho turns out to be that bald man from the video cover I saw all those years ago. Quite bizarrely, the most disturbing moment from the scenes involving this underground group is scored by the soundtrack to the quiz show Mastermind. You can't help but expect Magnus Magnusson to pop around the corner and say 'your specialist subject is vigilante justice and misogynistic violence'. But of course he does not and it remains a deeply strange viewing experience for audiences from the UK to witness.

This isn't a movie with a very good reputation. Admittedly it's technically raw and clunky. But it's also kind of unusual and agreeably sleazy. It's pretty entertaining all things considered.


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