6.4/10
1,954
48 user 43 critic

Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker (1981)

Night Warning (original title)
An orphaned teenager finds himself being dominated by his aunt who's hell-bent on keeping him with her...at all costs.

Director:

William Asher

Writers:

Steve Breimer (screenplay) (as Stephen Breimer), Alan Jay Glueckman (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jimmy McNichol ... Billy Lynch
Susan Tyrrell ... Cheryl Roberts
Bo Svenson ... Detective Joe Carlson
Marcia Lewis Marcia Lewis ... Margie
Julia Duffy ... Julie Linden
Britt Leach ... Sergeant Cook
Steve Eastin ... Tom Landers
Caskey Swaim Caskey Swaim ... Phil Brody
Cooper Neal Cooper Neal ... Frank
Bill Paxton ... Eddie (as William Paxton)
Kay Kimler ... Anna Lynch
Gary Baxley Gary Baxley ... Bill Lynch, Sr.
Vickie Oleson Vickie Oleson ... Lady Police Officer
Clemente Anchondo Clemente Anchondo ... Jail Arrestee
Alex Baker Alex Baker ... Police Officer Westcott
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Storyline

Seventeen year old high school senior Billy Lynch was raised by his maternal aunt, Cheryl Roberts, with who he has lived since the age of three, when his parents died in a tragic accident. As never married Aunt Cheryl has not dated over that time, it has been only her and Billy in the big, old house next to the woods. Billy hopes to get a basketball scholarship to the University of Denver, where his girlfriend of one year, Julie Linden, will be attending. Aunt Cheryl, in her possessiveness of Billy, doesn't let Julie into the house and doesn't want Billy to go away to college. What those around her don't know is that Cheryl is deranged and will do whatever it takes to keep Billy all to herself. What Billy also does not know is that there is an unknown third in his and Aunt Cheryl's relationship, that third who is either the cause of or has exacerbated her derangement. Aunt Cheryl's actions lead to Billy being implicated in a murder, Billy's plea of innocence which is not helped by the... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Haunting Rhyme for Bedtime. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

February 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Thrilled to Death See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Early versions of the movie kept it ambiguous that Susan Tyrell was the villain of the story, gradually revealing it as the plot developed. However, this was changed when the story felt noticeably more suspenseful with the villain being established from the beginning. See more »

Goofs

When log crashes through the car, it's obvious that it hits a doll and not a real man. See more »

Quotes

Detective Joe Carlson: [after he has just told Billy his story of Brody's murder] Ain't that right, ma'am?
Cheryl Roberts: YOU FILTHY PIG! You think you got it all figured out, don't ya? Well you're wrong!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Fear, Panic & Censorship (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Little Boy Billy
Words and Music by Joyce Bulifant
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User Reviews

Tongue-in-cheek dark humor, bloody slasher, and melodramatic TV soap opera all rolled into one!
22 March 2003 | by BillyBCSee all my reviews

(***1/2 out of *****) I'm surprised this one isn't talked about more (at least, on a schlocky, cult-classic level). It's awesome! Susan Tyrrell ("Flesh & Blood") plays Cheryl Roberts, a frighteningly unstable woman who has to raise her nephew, Billy (Jimmy McNichol), when his parents are killed in a gruesome car accident in the opening scene. Aunt Cheryl's overaffectionate behavior towards her 17-year-old nephew sets the creepy tone for this movie from the first five minutes, but the main plot starts after she stabs a plumber to death for refusing her sexual advances. She claims that he was trying to rape her, so a police investigation starts up that uncovers dark, past secrets and a homosexual love affair between the plumber, Billy's basketball coach (Steve Eastin), and possibly Billy himself. Bo Svenson, acting a little like a gruff, B-movie Nick Nolte, chews up his scenes as the blindly homophobic Detective Carlson. But, Tyrrell is the real star here -- her progression from disturbing, obsessive aunt to all-out, screaming, homicidal madwoman is something to watch. This would probably be a two-star movie or less without her wonderfully tongue-in-cheek performance. On top of that, you get "Newhart"'s Julia Duffy as Billy's girlfriend (if you ever fantasized about seeing Stephanie Vanderkellen topless, here's your chance) and Bill Paxton (credited as `William'), a year after his scene-stealing role in the otherwise-mediocre slasher "Mortuary," in a couple of fun scenes as an a-hole b-ball teammate. My two big complaints with the film are the director's annoying use of slow motion every time someone's about to deliver a killing blow with one sharp weapon or another and a ridiculous textual epilogue (the kind you usually see at the ends of movies based on true stories) that appears before the end credits roll. Also, the front of the video box seems to be referring to a different movie ... ? Otherwise, hunt this one down and watch it with someone you love.

HIGHLIGHT: Everything that happens after Tyrrell cuts her hair short is a highlight, because that's when she goes completely off the deep end and earns her place in B-movie cinema's Hall of Over-The-Top Performances.


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