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Schizoid (1980)

An advice columnist begins receiving threatening notes from an anonymous stalker. Meanwhile, members of her group therapy session are being murdered by an unknown assailant.

Director:

David Paulsen

Writer:

David Paulsen
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Klaus Kinski ... Pieter Fales
Donna Wilkes ... Alison Fales
Marianna Hill ... Julie
Craig Wasson ... Doug
Richard Herd ... Donahue
Joe Regalbuto ... Jake
Christopher Lloyd ... Gilbert
Flo Lawrence ... Pat (as Flo Gerrish)
Kiva Lawrence ... Rosemary
Claude Duvernoy Claude Duvernoy ... Françoise
Cindy Donlan Cindy Donlan ... Sally
Jon Greene Jon Greene ... Archie
David Assael David Assael ... Barney
Richard Balin Richard Balin ... Freddy
Fredric Cook ... Willy
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Storyline

Julie is an advice columnist for the city newspaper who begins to receive anonymous notes threatening murder and worse. At about the same time, female members of the group therapy session she attends are being stabbed, one by one, by an unknown assailant. Is there a connection? If so, why do the notes talk about murder with a gun, while the murder victims are being stabbed? At first, the police, her ex-husband, her therapist and her friends all assure her that the notes are probably unrelated, and hoax; but with time, it becomes apparent that someone close to her is responsible. Is it her therapist, Pieter, who has sex with his patients just before they are murdered? Or Pieter's daughter, who resents Julie for Julie's romantic involvement with Pieter? Is it Julie's ex-husband, who never really wanted their divorce? Or maybe Gilbert, the eccentric building maintenance man whom many people believe is a little crazy anyway? Just about everyone around her seems mentally disturbed enough ... Written by Brian C. Madsen <bcmmovies@earthlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Dear Julie: Don't let me do it again...


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 February 1981 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Murder by Mail See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$900,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer and Director David Paulsen was told by Producers Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus that he had one month to have a screenplay ready that could be shot for under a million dollars, and that could feature Klaus Kinski, who was under contract. Paulsen also had only one month to secure a crew and shooting locations. See more »

Goofs

In the note that Julie reads is different from the note seen. The note reads: "Murder I Think about it more and more the rejection is getting so hard to take nobody cares about me I feel so ugly my head is breaking maybe you'll understand the bullets in the chamber the guns ready blow i don't want murders but I have to make them hear me can you understand help me I'm scared to death." However Julie reads "Murder I think about it more and more they talk forever about their stupid problems and i'm the one who's miserable I want to shoot them through the head and i can do it I've got his gun you're one of them i'm going to kill you to." However next we see the letter it reads exactly as Julie read it See more »

Connections

Featured in Dear Allison... With Donna Wilkes (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Therapy? With Kinski? What a crazy idea!
17 August 2015 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

Although the plot and rating of "Schizoid" didn't look too promising, I nevertheless really wanted to see it for three (very good) reasons… Number one: I generally like slasher movies from the year 1980 or 1981, because back then this sub-genre wasn't yet impacted by the overload of "Halloween" and "Friday the 13th" clones. Number two: I was really interested to see a horror/thriller that starred both Klaus Kinski (one of my all-time favorite actors) and Christopher Lloyd in the earliest phase of his career (or at least, prior to the successful "Back to the Future" movies). And perhaps the biggest reason for me to track down "Schizoid" is the fact that it features so many typical trademarks of an Italian giallo! The killer, as he/she is briefly introduced during the opening sequences of the film, wears a long black raincoat and black leather gloves while his/her murder weapon is a sharp pair of scissors. These are preferred accessories of giallo-killers and, on top of that, he/she exclusively targets female victims and the murders bathe in a sexist atmosphere. My conclusion is that "Schizoid" is a moderately absorbing thriller with a handful of tense scenes and original touches, but regrettably also a large number of implausible twists. Beautiful Julie works as a columnist for a Californian newspaper, but she's caught in a difficult divorce and participates in the group therapy sessions of the acclaimed psychiatrist Dr. Pieter Fales. Julie starts receiving eerie letters that exist of newspaper clippings and talk of gruesome murders. The female members of her group therapy sessions are being killed off one by one as well. Who is the culprit? Is it the perverted Dr. Fales, who has sexual relations with all his patients? Or is it Dr. Fales' pre-ripe 16-year-old daughter, who hates her father and all the women he has sex with? Is it the mysteriously roaming and voyeuristic janitor Gilbert or Julie's ex-husband Doug who never wanted the divorce? Or perhaps Julie herself is the killer because, after all, the murder cases help increasing her popularity as a columnist! Like other reviewers already righteously pointed out, the biggest default of this film is the credibility of Klaus Kinski's character. As much as I worship this eccentric actor, he simply cannot pass for a psychiatrist; let alone a psychiatrist who manages to seduce and sleep with all his female patients. The search for the killer's identity, on the other hand, results in a couple of exciting sequences and a tense climax. The body count is sadly low for an early 80s slasher (only 3 victims) but the murder sequences are grim and atmospheric. The performances from the ensemble cast are just mediocre, with the exception of Donna Wilkes… She's downright fantastic and amazingly makes her young character Alison simultaneously sensual, creepy and forbidden. Solely based on her performance in this film, I've added the film "Angel" to my must-see list.


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