Thursday, August 26, 2010

Possession: Until Death Do You Part

(Michael Mazo/Lloyd A. Simandl, 1987)
Ostensibly a movie about a psychopath in thrall to his mother - now where have we heard that one before? - this movie achieves the remarkable feat of running out its entire narrative in the first fifteen minutes. Given the calibre of performances, you might in fact be grateful that things then revert to the usual menaced ladies in a cabin, and since these ladies in fact comprise a home-based escort service, the so-called directors (Simandl has learned nothing in the eight years since the hateful amateur hour that was "Autumn Born") claim ample resort to the female torso. They can't act - best line: "You were in a BAR?!" - and they're pretty obnoxious, but they sure come as a relief after the nondescript frump of a mother and the dull-ass lump of a psycho. The first problem, though, is that the opening teased us with the promise of a plot, thus calling attention to the sad nothingness of all that follows; these clowns can't even stage a decent stabbing. The second problem is that the psycho is still with us. John Robert Johnson is like a guy doing a retard impression at a frat party only less subtle, and by the third stroll in the woods you'll wish the credits had rolled as soon as his dinghy exploded.

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