Too often dismissed as cheap schlock, Coppola's debut is a complete film! The gothic ambiance is stylish and atmospheric, the story is engaging, and the psychology of the killer is rich and fascinating. It's also a proto-giallo; thematic similarities can be found in later films by Argento, etc. As such, it is as important to the development of the sub-genre as Bava's The Girl Who Knew Too Much released the same year.
Early Coppola film made for producer Roger Corman on sets for another film after day's production. One can see glimpses of the cinematic language to come but the story is that of the 'B' movie variety. Performances are OK save the over the top Magee as the family physician who seems to be in a totally different genre. Atmospheric but a little shrill overall.
Coppola's first film apart from porn, financed for c.$1 by Corman. TRULY APPALLING. Switched off after 15 minutes (and that was too long). NO stars our of five. Utterly abysmal. Don't watch this if you are of a narcoleptic nature as you will fall asleep for ever. An example of its badness: it's supposed to be set in Ireland, but the only cars are American and they drive on the wrong side of the road. Duh!
Not a terrible film but even though it is only 75 minutes it feels longer than that due to the pacing. Interesting enough to see because it is Coppola's first solo film but other than that there's not much here.
Roger Corman gave a hand to Coppola, producing a decent thriller with Poe/Henry James gothic flavor, that also borrows a couple of elements from Hitchcock's then hit film Psycho.
Cool main titles and creepy music.
I particularly like Luana Anders.