The Psycho Lover (1970)
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Director ONeill I would wager saw his share of Bava, probably at least 'Blood And Black Lace'. The murder sequences in 'Psycho Lover' are marvelous set pieces. And interestingly, the women fight back & get in some good licks, these are not generally weak defenseless women.
The music through-out the film is spot on for the time period. There's just something very edgy about the entire proceedings that I really enjoy. Combined with this are some goofy sequences that again, I rather enjoy. ONeill is a capable director. His use of camera, editing approach, story telling ability, use of lighting & mood is first rate. Absolutely I'd rate this as grade A cinema in terms of technical marks, he gets an 'A' on all counts, good work.
Acting as well is first rate. No one really slows it down & everyone has ample time to work their characters into the plot & develop them fully. Dialogue is sharp as well. You may recognize Laurence Montaige from his stint is several Star Trek original series episodes playing a Vulcan, he looks like Spocks Brown Haired Cousin actually & was a natural for Star Trek. He's a capable actor & I always enjoyed his performances albeit I've not seen too much of his other work or am even aware of his professional career much outside this film & some TV work.
I first saw this title in a Drive-In theater before there was such a thing as the internet. Since then I was on the search having even forgotten the name proper of the film. However, images were burned into my brain forever & I was not going to forget this film & as luck would have it I finally struck pay dirt, first in VHS format. This current version is near pristine, good transfer & excellent condition.
I for one think the Dream Sequence is excellent. I like the whole film so sue me! You've got cool frantic music, a wild Daddy Roth style car, a speed boat, a super intelligent psychiatrist with a lake side cabin hide away, a hot to trot mistress, cool gadgets like cassette tape recorders, radar in his car ?! You've got a psychotic killer on the loose, a frustrated cop, a bitter drunken floozy of a wife...the psycho's land lady is named 'Mrs. Gerber'!?! yowza!
This is not however, the kind of film most of your friends will appreciate. The murders are fairly brutal & graphic (by standards of the time) & there's' definitely not too many PC moments a-happenin in this flick. We'll just have to accept the fact that some pleasures are purely esoteric & to explain them or expect too many others to feel the same way is unrealistic.
'The Psycho Lover'; if you love 60's / 70's psychotronic film, bizarre concepts, definitely NON-PC material, this film is for you. Any film that couldn't be made in todays climate gets 2 thumbs up from me anyways, just on principle alone. Check it out.
One problem I have with this film is that many of its scenes are far too drawn out. However, this isn't always a bad thing as many of these sequences are more interesting than they should be given the type of film. The scene in which we are introduced to Kenneth's wife is very strong, and the sequence that sees our serial killer stalk a victim through an empty house is actually quite exciting. The film was shot on a low budget, and this is always obvious although not that important; as there are no big stunts and the film admirably overcomes its budget restraints. The acting isn't bad either, and Lawrence Montaigne is good in the lead role. He receives good support from Jo Anne Meredith as his wife, while Frank Cuva and Elizabath Plumb bulk out the rest of the central cast. The ending is nice and ironic, and works well considering what has gone before it. Films like this are usually ten a penny, but this one stands out above similar movies, and I will say that if you consider yourself a fan of cult seventies cinema - this one is more worth tracking down than most!
Other than that there is the delightfully silly scene where they attempt to stage a suspenseful cat and mouse scene in a fully lit, sparsly furnished room that is about the size of a small car... and somehow manage to drag it out for several minutes AND make it work (to a point at least).
It's a 1970s colourful trash fest, so you get loads of boobs. However, the ending makes it stand out as we get a seriously good 'Tales of the Unexpected' twist at the end. Ha ha. Brilliant. The film keeps going on the body count but there is no gore, thankfully. There is, however, far too much sexual activity included not full on shagging but you get the picture and these scenes outstay their welcome. In particular, the love scenes between Montaigne and Plumb. OK, we get the idea, please move on from this gratuitous nonsense. I don't want to watch him getting his tongue in there.
Overall, the film is worth keeping onto for the ending and, outside of the love-making scenes which drag, there are tense moments and the music is cool.