ABC Film Challenge – Horror – L – Schizo (1976) Movie Review

This is under L because of star Lynne Frederick

Director: Pete Walker

Writer: David McGillivray (Screenplay)

Starring: Lynne Frederick, John Leyton, Stephanie Beacham, John Fraser, Jack Watson, Queenie Watts

Plot: A newly married woman becomes convinced someone from her past is stalking her, but nobody believes her until the bodies start to pile up.


Tagline – Schizophrenia… When the left hand doesn’t know who the right hand is killing!!

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Schizo starts when Samantha (Frederick) is getting married to Alan (Leyton) only to find herself being stalked by William Haskins (Watson) her mother’s ex-lover and murder of her, he has returned to the life of Samantha to continue on his killing spree of the family.

With Samantha needing to prove that Haskins is stalking her, the people closest to her suffering his wrath, as she needs to try and get out of her situation before becoming the latest victim.

Thoughts on Schizo

Characters – Samantha is a famous ice skater who is about to get married, she had a traumatising childhood, which she saw her mother killed and on her big day, the killer returns to her life with a message, leading her to go through a situation where everyone is questioning her mindset. Alan is her new husband that isn’t happy her about not learning about the past Samantha has kept secret. William Haskins is the man released from prison that has come in search of Samantha, he has killed her mother and now it looks like he is coming to take her too. We do meet plenty of people that are trying to help Samantha along the way, be it the therapist Leonard, or best friend or landlady.

PerformancesLynne Frederick is the leading lady of the film and is strong with her characters reactions to everything happening through the film. Jack Watson does look the part of a creepy stalker through the film, while the rest of the cast do their jobs well.

StoryThe story here follows a woman on the biggest day of her life getting a visit from a man from her past, a man that killed her mother, he is stalker her in, with her friends slowly getting picked off. This is a very early slasher style story, it dives into the idea that someone might be stalking someone, which will create a paranoid image to the friends and loved ones, while giving us the early formula of seeing people slowly picked off along the way. It does use the environments to create different kills, and plants the early seeds of doubt about who the killer really is.

Horror/MysteryThe horror side of this film comes from seeing the different styles of kills being performed through the film, which plays into the slasher elements, while keeping us guessing as to who the killer might be.

SettingsThe film does adapt the environments to create the unique kills being performed through the film, using the available weapons along the way.

Special EffectsThe effects look great for the time, as we see the different injuries inflicted from the kills.


Scene of the Movie – Needle work.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The séance felt out of place.

Final Thoughts This is a big early slasher that might well have paved the path for many of the ones we know now.

 

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