Two uneasy friends, a police officer and a TV talk show host, each pursue the mysterious "handcuff killer" with the aid of an artist who sees - and draws - the killer's crimes before they're committed.
Six people are trapped within the confines of their old high school during their 10th high school reunion with a psychotic, masked preacher who kills them off for their sinful lives they have made for themselves.
Constantine S. Gochis
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After the body of murdered woman is found, nude and handcuffed, floating down the Hudson River in New York, a string of murders occur by an unseen serial killer who kills men by handcuffing them before killing them. Mac, a TV talk-show host, and Larry, a police detective, team up to try to find the killer and seek help from Virna, a clairvayant young artist, who draws visions of the murders before they happen. As Mac and Larry try to establish a connection between the victims and the first female victim, who may have been sexually involved all of the male victims, Virna's further visions begin to point to her as the next victim as she unknowingly closes in on the killer's identity. Written by
"The Killing Hour" is an American thriller with Italian giallo ambitions. The murders, the killer's disguise & modus operandi and especially the final denouement which obviously can't be revealed here are seemingly taken straight from the screenplay of an early 70's Italian giallo highlight. Even the additional topic of clairvoyance doesn't make it typically American, because near the end of the seventies the Italians were experimenting with supernatural themes, like for example in Lucio Fulci's "The Psychic". This certainly isn't a bad little movie, it's just somewhat unfortunate that the pacing is very uneven and the second half is boring and lifeless. What you can't afford to miss about "The Killing Hour" are the first ten minutes. Imagine if you agreed with some of your friends to watch this movie and you're ten minutes late to the party, well than you're just terribly out of luck, because 99% of the horrific images and carnage are already over and done with by then. In the opening sequences we witness the discovery of a naked girl's body floating in the Hudson river and two highly imaginative murders, one in a pool and one in a road construction site. All three victims wore handcuffs and there's undoubtedly a common element that links them all to the same killer. Whilst copper Larry Weeks and TV talk show host Paul McCormack are arguing about whether or not to keep the story out of the media, a shy young girl reports herself to the police. She's an artist in training but claims that at certain moments her hand uncontrollably takes over and draws the murders as they occurred or will still occur. McCormack sees the girl as a sensational guest for his talk show, but obviously doesn't realize this brings her in great mortal danger. The film starts out as a compelling whodunit full of suspense and curious characters (a cop who's a stand-up comedian in his spare time?), but gradually becomes just another dull and predictable little thriller. There's hardly anything exciting going on in the film's second half and the climax is only original and efficient if you haven't seen a single Italian giallo ever before in your life. As soon as you have, the ending of "The Killing Hour" will leave you underwhelmed and stone cold. Writer/director Armand Mastroianni, who probably has some sort of Italian roots despite being born and raised in Brooklyn, was a competent horror director back in the early 80's. He made the underrated slasher "He Knows You're Alone" as well as goofy horror flicks like "The Supernaturals" and "Cameron's Closet". This was his most serious horror effort, but the result is only semi-successful.
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