Bloody Wednesday treads some of the territory I value the most in cinema, the mind in disarray, its structure embodied in architecture, the pressures within and without. It also as a social agenda, which matters less to me as a viewer but does have the advantage of being something I agree rather strongly with. It is perhaps unfortunate that it announces itself so boldly with the title and opening text, telling instantly that this is less cinema of exploration than cinema as arrow, clean flight from singing bow to grisly target, but its a well mounted and weird enough affair to mostly forgive its shortcomings. The tale is of Harry Curtis, divorced, perpetual loser, who wigs out one afternoon and loses his job as a mechanic, then rocks up to a church service in the buff and is sent for psychiatric evaluation for his efforts. But even though the doctor has her suspicions, he can't stay and ends up living in an abandoned hotel. Then slowly but surely, things get out of control... The key reference point is The Shining, hotel of grand spaces and dark corridors, menacing history and beguiling phantasms a mirror for the mind, a place to get lost and overwhelmed. But instead of gorgeous decor and Steadicam shots there's a talking teddy bear. And snakes, and ghosts that map to Curtis and his frustrations rather directly, and a street gang who turn up to make his life even harder. Its a curious and somewhat derivative brew with an ending inspired by a real life massacre of a few years previous, but generally decent writing pulls it off in engaging fashion. Characters are nicely defined and there are some interesting and quirky lines it has a writerly feel to it rather than the rather flat point a to point b no fuss no muss approach that may such films take. This is probably due to being written by Philip Yordan, who scored a Oscar win in the 50's and a couple more nominations, and though relegated to the realms of low budget horror by the 80's clearly figured he should still take his best shot at every project. Some of the performances help, Raymond Emendorf has a good blank melancholy that steadily grows to creepy intensity, Pamela Baker concerned and likable as his doctor, and Jeff O'Haco bes as the lead street tough, arrogant and venomous but smart in his way. Other performances are weaker, but it doesn't matter too much, the film moves nicely and delivers when it comes to the crunch, an appropriately bloody showdown with decent body-count. Altogether this isn't a film to set anyones life alight, but its good fun in its little way and a thoroughly agreeable late night time filler. Strong 6/10.