John Carradine joins a cast of Andy Warhol favorites — including Mary Woronov, Jack Smith, Ondine and Candy Darling — in this bizarre horror tale from director Theodore Gershuny that centers on a haunted mental institution and an escaped madman.
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I rewatch this every December and always see something new each time. I’ve always loved how the plot is convoluted and extremely vague at the same time. While it’s ostensibly a horror film, the scenes of onscreen violence are sparse and mostly implied, and the story is really about a family and its homestead that hides some unpleasant secrets...
One of the earliest slasher trendsetters, besides Psycho and Bay of Blood. It's quite rough and unpolished in directing, with some awkward moments in acting, but its playful plot, creepy villain, and brutal murders, make it an underrated creepshow. Its main fault is the sepia-toned revelation's elongation zaps the story of its otherwise breakneck pace. The actual twist, however, is bonkers and wonderfully deranged.
Theodore Gershuny's shadowy and subtle direction (the point-of-view shots from the killer's perspective were later featured heavily in Black Christmas) and the freakish flashback insane asylum sepia scenes, Gershon Kingsley's cold and haunting score, Mary Woronov's super tough heroine. This is such a hidden gem: perfect watching for winter nights.