Provocative and well acted but the pacing is painfully slow.
This 1976 feature gained most of its notoriety in 1984 when the Director of Public Prosecution drew up its list of ‘Video Nasties’ and this was on it. Like many films on the list, the very fact that it made it meant there was something to see; however unlike most there is very little explicit nudity and gore (though there is some), the story has the finger of reality attached to it, and the themes it delves into are genuinely horrific.
Molly (Millie Perkins) is a disturbed young lady. Whilst she idolises her nephews, and they her, she is plagued by violent fantasies of killing men. When she and her sister argue about their Sea Captain father, one knows more than the other, and poor Molly, whose experiences are revealed, in sickening flashbacks, has suffered more than most. However when her fantasies seep into her waking world as she acts them out, her friends and family, knowing the uncomfortable truth, set about to release her the only way they know how.
Written by Robert Thom and using experiences form Millie Perkins’ real life, director Matt Cimber crafts a sombre, slow burning horror that requires patience and endurance to see it through. Deliberately not shying away from the controversial abuse that Molly suffered as a child (with some wicked camera angles that are cringe worthy and awful in their revelation) are perhaps some of the most powerful images ever committed to celluloid. And they are not there as exploitation or excuse, but to create sympathy for a murderess who tortures her victims in the most brutal manner.
As provocative as the film is, and as well acted as it is, the pacing is painfully slow; I’m all for character building but when the point is laboured and laboured and laboured again it becomes difficult to continue. All the ideas of duality start to become bogged down in a slow boiling soup. Never the ‘Nasty’ it was labelled as, but containing some genuinely harrowing ideas, the feature nevertheless loses out to the laborious meandering pace that many will find difficult to get over.
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