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The Plumber (1979)

TV Movie  -   -  Horror | Thriller  -  November 1981 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 900 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 13 critic

A young couple, living in a campus apartment complex, are repeatedly harassed by an eccentric plumber, who subjects them to a series of bizarre mind games while making unnecessary repairs to their bathroom.



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Title: The Plumber (TV Movie 1979)

The Plumber (TV Movie 1979) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Cast overview:
Jill Cowper
Ivar Kants ...
Max (the plumber)
Brian Cowper
Candy Raymond ...
Henri Szeps ...
David Medavoy
Yomi Abioudan ...
Dr. Matu (as Yomi Abiodun)
Beverley Roberts ...
Dr. Japari
Bruce Rosen ...
Dr. Don Felder
Daphne Grey ...
Caretaker's wife
Meme Thorne ...
Anna (as Mémé Thorne)
David Burchell ...
Professor Cato
Paul Sonkkila ...
Reg the cleaner
Pam Sanders ...
Rick Hart ...


In Adelaide, the wife of Dr. Brian Cowper, Jill Cowper, is writing her thesis at home for her Master's in Anthropology. When the plumber, Max, arrives unexpectedly to do a routine check and maintenance of the the bathroom pipes, Jill is stuck alone at home with the strange, talkative stranger. That day, he mentions spending some time in prison, frightening Jill. She talks about this to her friend Meg, her husband Brian and the superintendent's wife, but they all believe the plumber to be a simple, but nice man. Jill does not agree. There is a problem in the bathroom that brings Max back again, this time even longer. Over time, the tension between them increases. Finally, Jill finds a way to get rid of the plumber. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


She opened her door to the plumber...and five days of mental torment that would change her life. See more »


Horror | Thriller


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

November 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Plumber  »

Box Office


AUD 150,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Peter Weir based the movie on two real-life incidents. The first involved two of Weir's friends, who suffered through a number of house-calls made by an incessantly talkative yet incompetent plumber. The second involved Weir himself riding in a cab in the late 1960s with a driver who appeared to be a hippie. When the pair began discussing the Vietnam war, the driver espoused numerous fascist and pro-war sentiments, concluding his diatribe by expressing a desire to see the entire nation of Vietnam destroyed with an atomic bomb. See more »


In the last shot of the plumber playing his guitar, there is music but he isn't moving his hands. See more »


Referenced in Peter Weir Industry Seminar 1989 (1989) See more »


Revolving Patterns
Music by Keith Mansfield
Bruton Music Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

A Real Sleeper that's Lots of Fun
15 July 2001 | by (Chicago, Illinois) – See all my reviews

Little known Australian gem that takes the old 'girl stalked by psycho' theme and gives it a fun twist with some astute social commentary. A highly intellectual, educated women suddenly finds herself being manipulated by a slovenly, low class plumber. She is an expert at primitive cultures, yet is unable to deal with her own 'civilized' culture. As he tears away at her bathroom, he also tears away at the line that seperates the classes. Playfully pokes at everything from how much control one really has on their enviroment, to how vulnerable we ALL are and how no one is really that far removed or 'above' anyone else. Also aptly displays how our social mores, customs, and status are only their as long as everyone respects them. Yet the best thing about this sleeper is how everyone, including her friends and husband, are so caught up in their own little worlds that they cannot fully fathom the extent of her fear. Bringing to light the old adage of us all having our own 'private hell'. Mono sound and a bit of a 'cop out' ending are the only detractions.

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