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.
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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 clairvoyant 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
This little-known suspense thriller from Armand Mastroianni (director of the 1980 slasher romp He Knows You're Alone) makes for ripe entertainment for both fans of murder mysteries and horror films.
NYC police are trying to find out who is behind a rash of 'handcuff' murders, while a young artist (and psychic) is finding herself drawing the horrid crimes!
Cinema in the early 80's was bombarded with numerous slasher films, which is probably how this film became forgotten, but The Clairvoyant a.k.a. The Killing Hour isn't a routine killer thriller. Mastroianni's story is a solid mystery with plenty of dashes of tension and suspense to keep one engaged. The opening sequences are quite grabbing, the murders are inventive (although not gory), and the plot builds to a great showdown climax. The urban filming locations are terrific, Mastroianni's direction is sleekly well done, and the subtle piano score is a nice touch. The film also carries a kind of sexual vibe through out.
The cast is quite good in their performances. Perry King is great as a TV journalist exploiting the killings. Elizabeth Kemp makes for a likable young heroine as the clairvoyant artist. Norman Parker is charismatic as the police detective who moonlights as a stand-up comic.
Nicely done on all levels, The Clairvoyant makes for a perfect big city thriller.
*** out of ****
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