Loosely based on the notorious Richard Speck murders, this is the grim tale of a disturbed Vietnam vet returning home via Belfast, who invades a house shared by eight nurses and proceeds to terrorize and murder them. Written by
This could have been some sort of "Taxi Driver". Could, if they just could have pulled it along with Scorcese's skills. After all, low-budgeter "Taxi Driver" had all it took to make an exploitation movie. This one has the gritty realism, the context (Visions of some overall violent world from Ireland to Vietnam, even more relevant nowadays), the disturbing elements But does not seem to know what to do with them. We had an understanding of what Travis Bickle was up to, even if we were not in his head, we had enough to go with and sympathize (just like in real life actually), which makes even the botched attack on a political candidate an anti-anticlimax. Here, despite Mathieu Carrière's excellent acting, we have only disjointed things : he's a Vietnam vet, his wife cheated on him, he might be impotent and might have a death wish (though his actions denies it). How did it all comes together in one long, violent episode is anyone's guess. M. Carrière manages to keep the character's desperation obvious, but to what end ? It's not really a chain of events that leads him to his horrific deeds. The cheesy dialogue does not really helps, like a reference to lesbianism, fortunately without any moral tut-tutting, that leads nowhere. The whole things feels just like an experience in exploitation with some hints at social comment, or the other way around, if you feel so inclined. It's not bad, but it's one movie that could have been so much better if its various interesting elements have gelled into something coherent.
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