Sunday, October 19, 2014

Schizoid, Weird Group Therapy

1980's "Schizoid" started the mantra, "It's not safe to go back into group therapy."  Well maybe not, but with Klaus Kinski starring as a kinky therapist, and the prime suspect in a series of scissor murders, we have a worthwhile slasher flick.  The suspects outnumber the beautiful victims, and feature a young Christopher Lloyd as a creepy maintenance guy who enrolls in group therapy with a bunch of sexy women.  With a great cast, plot twists, a plethora of suspects, and a shiny pair of scissors, "Schizoid" will certainly please.
As our film begins, the female members of Dr. Fales' (Kinski) therapy group are nude in a Jacuzzi. As they commiserate about their dysfunctions, none of them are aware that each of them is being bedded by our nymphomaniac Dr. Fales.  Fales is an odd one, in addition to having carnal relations with his patients, he enjoys watching his teen-aged, daughter, Alison (Donna Wilkes), undress.  I was a young teenager when I saw Ms. Wilkes in "Jaws 2."  If she had been eaten by the shark, I would've needed group therapy.  As soon as the women dry off, the slashing starts.  One of the group members (see photo below) is slashed at an abandoned plantation and hung up to dry.  Simultaneously, Julie (Mariana Hill), an advice columnist, has started getting cryptic letters from someone who desires to shoot her.  The next to go is a group member, who is also an exotic dancer.  She buys it just after Fales visits her in her dressing room, where they have passionate sex.  Meanwhile, Alison spies on the therapy sessions with the use of the intercom system, and develops a hatred for Julie.  
More suspects are piled onto the plot.  Craig Wasson plays Julie's ex-husband, Doug.  He rightly believes that the therapy group is responsible for Julie, who he adores, seeking a divorce.  Gilbert (Lloyd) is a maintenance man who just happens to show up on jobs in whichever building Julie walks into. Gilbert is the only member of the group not having carnal relations with Fales.  Back to Alison (see photo below).  She has not handled the death of her mother well, and resents her dad for sleeping with every women he meets.  When Fales brings Julie home for dinner, Alison creates one heck of an awkward time for them.  As the notes threatening Julie's life keep coming, the cops are only mildly interested.  The letters express a desire to shoot Julie, yet the killer is using a scissors....are there more than one?
As Julie tries on her own to catch her tormentor, she surrounds herself with those she trusts...even though they all have motives to murder her.  The story is creepy, not so much because of the murders, but Dr. Fales' relationship with his daughter will also give you the willies.  If Alison is the fiend, she is a fiend we are pulling for.  Ms. Wilkes has returned to acting, most recently in this year's "90210 Shark Attack."  Thankfully she was not eaten in "Jaws 2," and watch "Schizoid" to see if she survives in this slasher film. 


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