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***SPOILERS*** Somewhat muddled and confusing little film-noir set in the quiet community of Beaumont Calif.about murder and obsession. Realestate developer Frank Stegner, Gene Armor, is shot and killed in front of his girlfriend as they were both going out for a moonlight dive one night in the hotel's, where they were staying at.
Detective Cliff Burden, Michael Madsen, is put in charge of the murder case and right away zeros in on the hotel owner Cathy Merrims, Laura Johnson, as either the killer or someone who knows who the killer is. Burden follows all the leads and it turns out that Miss. Merrims had just moved into the hotel permanently from her home in L.A and was on the phone crying hysterically just minutes before Stegner was shot that night.
As Burden follows up that lead it leads him to the office of a Dr. Bill Hook, Anthony Hamilton, the psychiatrist who's treating Cathy for serious emotional problems. Burden senses that Hook is somehow involved with Stegner's murder by the way he responds to his questions about Cathy. It turns out that Cathy was under the care of a Dr. Sosoria back in L.A after she shot and killed a burglar who broke into her home. She later developed deep guilt feeling about it,feeling that she murdered burglar instead of having killed him in self-defense.
Det. Burder also finds that Cathy was under psychiatric treatment since she was 13 when both her parents were tragically killed in a plane crash. The shooting of the bugler made her mental state even worse and on top of all that her L.A psychiatrist, Dr.Sosaria,committed suicide over her for not getting romantically involved with him. This is where Dr. Hook came into Cathy's life by taking over the psychiatric care that Dr. Sosaria provided for her but in his case it was more that just a doctor patient relationship.
Pretty good story with Det. Burder getting more involved with the sultry Cathy Merrims then with solving Stegner's murder. This all lead to a bloodbath at the end of the movie where almost everyone in it ended up dead.
Michael Madsen looked more like a 1950's greaser then a cop and Anthony Hamilton as Dr. Bill Hook was so crazed and off-the-wall that it made you wonder why anyone would ever want to be treated by him for emotional problems. Hook since he seemed to be more teetering on the brink and about to have a complete mental breakdown then anyone else in the film.
Laura Johnson was both vulnerable and sexy in the movie as the long suffering Cathy Merrims who was the object of the very unstable and dangerous Bill Hook's obsession.
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