Jerry, a Southern California golf pro is the target for Diana a disturbed young woman who desires the death of her shrink, who alone realizes her psychotic potential and seeks to have her committed. She suggests to Jerry that they "swap" murders - she'll kill his golf rival and he'll reciprocate by killing her psychiatrist. When she holds up her half of the bargain, she expects him to follow through with his end.Written by
Daft remake of STRANGERS ON A TRAIN with glacial Carol Lynley doing a distaff femme fatale take on Robert Walker's classic role. She's disturbed doll-faced Diana, who desires the death of her shrink, who alone realises her malign potential and seeks to have her committed. Fixating on perpetual golf pro runner-up Jerry (stone-faced Paul Burke), she beds the hapless sap and manages to get the admittedly soused sportsman to spout some incriminating pillow talk whilst being unknowingly filmed and recorded by a hidden camera which thereby appears to frame him for his superior golfing rival's subsequent murder as he unwittingly plays into her hands during her switcheroo murder plan pitch. Having held up her end of the bargain (and having purloined both the murder weapon and, as per the original film, a potentially incriminating cigarette lighter which is never flagged up as the classic 'McGuffin' it was in the Hitchcock original, and which both threaten to lead the forces of law and order to his door), the murderous minx now expects him to follow through with his end of the deal but, as Farley Granger found out some twenty years previously, if it isn't bred in the bone the hands will only be used to bash a ball rather than a skull. However, Jerry's reckoning without Diana's in-house editing facility which enables her to overdub the potentially damaging videotape footage (yep, she actually has a video recorder in 1969!) and, with the police circling and madness abroad, the poor dupe has to hack his way out of something more dangerous than the usual sandtrap. Kitsch in the extreme, and lacking all The Master of Suspense's bravura technique and convincing deployment of the transference of guilt theme, this is ultimately an unintentional hoot (especially a climactic dune buggy chase along a beach). Boasting Dayglo cinematography so harsh you almost need sunglasses to watch it, truly atrocious wardrobes (especially for Martha Hyer's estranged wife character) and pointlessly padded out with tedious extended golfing footage, this is really only recommended for true trash mavens as, unlike Ms Lynley's shapely lower limbs, this really hasn't got the legs to follow through on the original classically simple yet intriguing premise ('STRANGERS...' author Patricia Highsmith receives a credit for 'suggesting' the whole concept). Personally, though, I found it a lot of fun.
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