4.1/10
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22 user 5 critic

Bloody Wednesday (1987)

Not Rated | | Thriller, Horror | October 1987 (USA)
Harry is unable to hold a job due to his mental illness and lives in an abandoned Hollywood hotel haunted by friendly ghosts of the long dead staff. The lines of his mental illness and reality become extremely blurred as some of his strangest events are indeed witnessed by others. As Harry becomes more frustrated by not being able to distinguish fact from delusion he turns to violence.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Raymond Elmendorf ...
Harry
Pamela Baker ...
Dr. Johnson
Navarre Perry ...
Ben Curtis
Teresa Mae Allen ...
Elaine Curtis
Jeff O'Haco ...
Animal
...
Pretty Lady
Herb Kronsberg ...
Walter Burns
Murray Cruchley ...
Lou Cramer (as Lee Murray)
John Landtroop ...
Bellman
Richard Curtis ...
Pastor
...
Jake (as Dale Turner)
Jim Wilkerson ...
Mr. Grady
Larry Roberts ...
F.B.I.
Kevin Hulbert ...
F.B.I.
Victor Ochoa ...
Vandal
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Storyline

Harry is unable to hold a job due to his mental illness and lives in an abandoned Hollywood hotel haunted by friendly ghosts of the long dead staff. The lines of his mental illness and reality become extremely blurred as some of his strangest events are indeed witnessed by others. As Harry becomes more frustrated by not being able to distinguish fact from delusion he turns to violence. Written by Dollanganger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You'll pray for Thursday!

Genres:

Thriller | Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

October 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Great American Massacre  »

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Trivia

Based on the real life San Ysidro McDonald's Massaccre, on July 18, 1984. See more »

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User Reviews

 
The trouble with Harry.
19 January 2014 | by (Hampshire, England) – See all my reviews

The brain is a complex and fragile organ that can easily develop a fault if not properly maintained, and severe mental illness, if left unchecked, can have dire consequences. In Bloody Wednesday, a nifty low-budget study of a man's descent into violent madness, stressed mechanic Harry blows a brain gasket and is taken into psychiatric care, but is later released into the community under the care of his brother (who is far too busy to give the job the time it really requires).

Unfortunately, Harry is still not firing on all pistons: he imagines other people in the vacant hotel where he resides (shades of The Shining here—another great study of insanity); he believes that he has intimate relations with his doctor; he talks to his teddy bear; he is attacked by snakes in his sleep. Harry's fragile state is further exacerbated by a gang of street punks with a score to settle. A complete and utter breakdown is inevitable and with Harry possessing firearms, the outcome is going to be bloody.

Given this film's current low rating on IMDb (3.7 out of 10) I can only imagine that viewers were expecting a totally different type of movie (a cheesy 80s slasher perhaps) and reacted negatively out of disappointment. A shame, because behind the somewhat exploitative title and tag-line (You'll pray for Thursday!) lies a really powerful and intelligent film that deserves far better treatment.

Raymond Elmendorf's central performance is superb, the actor creating a believable, complex character that deserves the viewer's sympathy—a severely ill person requiring close medical supervision but who has sadly fallen through the cracks of an overworked and under resourced system. Director Mark G. Gilhuis skilfully and sensitively handles Harry's mental disintegration, masterfully blending his fantasy world with reality so that, just as it seems like Harry is making progress, it becomes clear that he is in fact spiralling even further out of control, his delusional state becoming more and more commonplace. The tragedy is heartbreaking.

The final act—in which Harry enters a coffee shop armed to the teeth and proceeds to blow away the customers—is suitably brutal, bloody and chilling, a shocking reminder of similar horrific stories that regularly make the news—events that might have been avoided if only the signals had been spotted early enough and the correct course of action taken.


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