Wishman's plot rotates around the maneuverings of a whore who longs for a touch of mink and a seat at the finer tables in life. Blackmail, betrayal, murder and malice are all part of her ... See full summary »
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Charles E. Mazin,
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After the mob hits a guy with a list, one of the hoods keeps the list for himself to blackmail the people on it. When the mobsters find out he's a double-crosser, they off him, which angers... See full summary »
Up until recently I was totally unaware Doris Wishman ever made a comeback, at age 88 no less. Wishman is mostly (in)famous for being the only woman to make sexploitation movies in the 1960s. Then she moved on with the cult action movie "Deadly Weapons", and I figured her career ended with arguably the worst slasher movie of all time, 1983's "A Night To Dismember" (the title is the best part, trust me).
But then you have this, and it's... strange even by Wishman's standards. For one thing, she shot it with a video camera, which takes away some of the typical exploitation charm. Ted V. Mikels had the same problem in his final movies. On the other hand, it does give her some new opportunities. For one thing, she can actually move the camera around during a scene. For another, this appears to be shot with (albeit terrible) sound, though we still get a lot of close-ups of feet. I guess a lot of the dialogue had to be re-dubbed later on.
The plot is typical for a drive-in flick from Wishman's heydays, though it sounds more like a Herschell Gordon Lewis flick. An ugly girl that becomes more beautiful with each time she kills, that narrative structure (I use that term loosely) is taken from stuff like "Blood Feast" or "Color Me Blood Red". H.G. Lewis certainly did it better though, if only because he delivered the goods. There's almost no gore in this movie, so splatter fans really shouldn't bother. The T&A fans have more luck. Once our main character is pretty, she gets naked pretty much all the time. Tiffany Peralta isn't exactly an actress you run away from either.
"Each Time I Kill" doesn't look much better than an amateur project you'd see on Youtube, but Wishman's inherent strangeness saves it. There's a mystery to her that is tough to grasp. Was it her intention that several actors look directly into the camera, or did that just happen by accident? Did Wishman genuinely think a person could die after being strangled for roughly four seconds? Why is the scene where our main girl learns her parents are dead somehow the funniest thing ever? Wishman was a fascinating director because every movie you see of her just adds more questions.
With that said, particularly the second half of this movie is genuinely entertaining, not in a so-bad-it's-good way. The pace is much better than in the average Wishman movie, and there's actually some coherence to this plot. I'm not saying this movie makes any sense, but things make sense... in this universe. Take the guy from the ice cream parlor for instance. He's an implausibly happy, nice character and he seems to be thrown in randomly, like so many characters in Doris Wishman movies are there for no reason. But he's actually important for a couple of minutes near the end! I don't know, maybe I just wasn't expecting much. That might also be why I think the ending has a genuinely clever message woven in.
"Each Time I Kill" is not a great movie, but it does give you a great feeling. It's kind of like when you go to an art exhibit for a relative you like. You don't necessarily like the art itself, but rather the idea that she keeps making it and clearly enjoys it. It reminds me of the interview she gave in the documentary "The Incredibly Strange Film Show". "I'll stop making movies when I die, and then I'll make movies in hell". That's why this movie is a huge triumph, she kept her promise of literally making movies until she died. This is certainly a better closer than the woeful "A Night To Dismember", such a shame it went so far under the radar.
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