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A new commanding officer arrives at a remote castle serving as an insane asylum for crazy and AWOL U.S. Army soldiers where he attempts to rehabilitate them by allowing them to live out their crazy fantasies while combating his own long-suppressed insanity. Written by
After seeing the excellent job William Peter Blatty did with Exorcist 3, I was intrigued to see what other films he had directed ('The Ninth Configuration' turned out to be the only other). The movie popped up on late-night TV here in the UK last week, so I gave it a shot. What can I say? What starts out as an extremely bizarre black-comedy, takes the viewer through a whole range of emotions before spitting him out on the other side, dazed but somewhat lifted. I can't recommend this movie enough to anybody lucky enough to get the chance to watch it. It is most definitely difficult viewing in it's first hour, with it's barrage of (eminently quoteable) one-liners and strange behaviour. Once a major change in story hits you, you are sucked in until the end which will leave you feeling....well, I'll leave it to you to find out. Great performances all round from great (either dead or forgotten) actors like Joe Spinell, Jason Miller, Neville Brand & Tom Atkins. Indeed, it's probably the best performances of their careers (at least up till 1980). WATCH THIS NOW! A life-affirming experience. Guaranteed. 9/10
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