I actually had some hope for this one going in. It is still in print as a stand-alone at Amazon, although I’m not sure what it means that the DVD cost $3 more than the Blu-Ray. Usually it would be a case of supply and demand. But is anyone really demanding this, in any format?
Unfortunately, the transfer is this collection is god-awful, making it impossible to properly evaluate the film. It has quite a few decent reviews online — ranging form not half-bad to calling it a gem — so I’m willing to blame the transfer for my boredom.
It gets off to a cheesy start with Samantha Eggar holding a gun on an unseen man as she yaps on and on. The credits roll over the scene like it is a TV episode. The camera draw back to reveal that she is an actress on stage performing for John Vernon.
Vernon and Samantha go to see a doctor Pendleton. During their meeting, she freaks out and tries to stab Vernon. When alone, they laugh as this was a ruse to get her admitted to the sanitarium to research a role. She is no R.P. McMurphy as the residents bring her down rather than her enlivening them.
Also unlike McMurphy, she escapes from the institution — after hearing that Vernon is auditioning other actresses for the role she is researching. Six women are invited to Vernon’s house to audition. Of course, they start getting picked off, even before they get there in one case.
Probably the best kill is of the aspiring actress who is supposed to be a pro ice skater. She can skate, but her movements and tiny leaps make it clear that the director of this movie did not hire a pro ice skater as an actress. An old hag, or maybe a hag wearing a hag mask, begins skating toward her with a scythe.
There are more auditions, dead bodies, a head in a toilet The conclusion has an interesting wrinkle. Really, though, my copy is so awful, it is hard to care.
- Director Richard Ciupka asked to have his name removed from the credits. The director credited on-screen is John Stryker — the name of John Vernon’s character.
- Writer Robert Guza, Jr. shows up for the 2nd time in this collection (along with Prom Night).
- Samantha Eggar was nominated for an Oscar, and won a Golden Globe for The Collector.
- John Vernon was inexplicably snubbed by the Academy for his work as Dean Wormer in Animal House.