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Disconnected (1983)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Horror
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Ratings: 3.9/10 from 128 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 3 critic

Twin sisters are implicated in a series of slasher murders. The question is, did one of them do it, did both of them do it, or did neither of them do it?


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Credited cast:
Frances Raines ...
Alicia / Barbara Ann
Carl Koch ...
Professor Morono ...
William A. Roberts ...
Old Man
Carmine Capobianco ...
Ben Page ...
Donna Dervoin ...
Girl Franklin Takes Home
Stefan Rybuk ...
Charles Keaton
Nancy Theroux ...
Girl in Franklin's Bed
Betty Kintaer ...
Alicia's Mother
James W. Kirly ...
Suspect on Street
Kathy Milani ...
Customer in Video Store
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Debbie Bechard ...
Woman on TV


The focus is on the twins, Alicia and Barbara (both played by Frances Raines) who become involved with the ominous Franklin (Mark Walker) and a series of murders. Alicia works at the local video store and has been getting odd phone calls after she broke up with her boyfriend. The police suspect that Franklin is involved in a series of gruesome murders. Written by Ørnås

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Telephone Killer  »

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User Reviews

Wonderfully weird no budget horror obscurity
12 October 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I enjoy weird low budget horror from the early 80's more than most. Disconnected is weirder and lower budgeted than most early 80's horror. We were meant to be together...Here we have the lovely Alicia for a heroine, cracking up as her identical twin Barbara-Anne screws around with her boyfriends. Tormented by hallucinations and noisy psyche freak-out phone calls (which succeed in being genuinely creepy) she happily sets to it with a geeky new beau. But what does all this have to do with a crazed killer icing his way through the ladies of the area...? While other no-budget horror of the era was content with aping popular slashers of the time, Disconnected has more on its mind. References to older films, notably Shadow of a Doubt (which a character spoils) as well as various posters, and the heroines video rental job (where at one stage she comes across an obnoxious porno patron) give the impression of the film riffing on its own milieu even as it inhabits it, its an approach that can come off awfully obnoxious but here it works because everything is so damned strange that its tough to unpick any meaning. The joy is that the construction is as strange as the plotting, so the strangeness becomes inescapable, it curls out of just about every frame in a captivating web of strange and if you can succumb, well its a good experience. There are strange things that seem a result of ineptitude, like the main character referencing the lateness of the hour while sun clearly shines in her window, or one bit where the brightness through her window makes a scene near impossible to make out. Then there are strange things that seem deliberate and beautiful, like editing that shuns plot rhythm so the audience can never settle into a scene in case it cuts away without discernible point (a pivotal moment of the film takes place off screen in this way), but really likes cutting to weird background objects in scenes where the action is of interest. Occasionally the wacky technique comes up unsettling trumps (a couple of interesting kills) but mostly it's bewildering, and I sure like bewilderment. There are bar scenes that skip dialogue and environmental sound so we can see mouths move but hear only disco pop, there's even a cop talking straight to camera against a white backdrop for some kind of documentary touch. There's more of course, but I could carry on a long way on it and I haven't got all day. It is worth mentioning that the ending explains virtually nothing and summons suspicions of a lost script (or final scenes dreamt up on the fly), which may be a problem for some. Acting-wise this is about what you'd expect. Frances Raines is pretty solid as Alicia/Barbara-Anne, effectively frayed as the former and sexy and combative as the latter. Helps that she's a lovely looking lady as well (and shows her boobs). Mark Walker is convincingly awkward and strange as new boyfriend Franklin, and to be honest I can barely remember anybody else worth mentioning. Most people are going to hate this one, but I had a grand old time, its mixture of unabashed strangeness and cold sincerity with trash art musing aesthetics place it as one of the most unusual of its era, giving perhaps even Horror House on Highway 5 a run for its acid burn out money. I give it a 7/10, but suspect this is more like a 4 for the majority.

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