Wednesday, November 2, 2022

The Manipulator, A Very Deviant Mickey Rooney

The immediate comparison to today's film would be 1965's "The Collector."  In that one, a ravishing Samantha Eggar, with wonderful flowing red hair, is ultimately murdered in heartbreaking fashion. Fast forward to 1971 and "The Manipulator."  Here, another beautiful redhead is abducted, tormented, and driven to madness...but will Luana Anders survive in this one?  Oh yes...Mickey Rooney!  He's our psycho today, and a very deviant one.  Other comparisons may include "King Lear," "Sunset Boulevard," and "The Dresser."  You may figure out the themes in this one touch on madness and the theater.  Directed by Yabo Yablonsky, "The Manipulator" will keep you uncomfortable and repulsed.

As our story begins, sultry redheaded actress Carlotta (Anders) has been held prisoner by insane movie director B.J. Lang (Rooney).  She is being deprived food and water and kept on the top floor of an abandoned prop warehouse. Lang has dressed her up in costume and keeps her tied up in a wheelchair.  Her starvation is driving her mad but she still seeks escape.  Lang is mad.  His best days are behind him.  He is no longer sought after and this is killing him.  In madness, Lang convinces himself that Carlotta is there to be the leading lady in his new film.  She begs for food and water and screeches as her sanity is dwindling.

Both hallucinate.  Starvation causes Carlotta to have horrific and perverted hallucinations.  Lang's insanity cause his hallucinations.  Deviant orgies including babies and transvestites fill Lang's mind.  Both characters will have their dream worlds mesh.  Lang will attack and terrify Carlotta.  Carlotta may in fact be turning into the same type of insaniac as Lang.  Where will this all lead?  Homicide, deviance, and more madness.  Again, we'll desperately desire Carlotta to survive...especially if we remember what happened to Ms. Eggar in "The Collector."

Will Carlotta survive until the end credits?  Will her mind be intact even if she does survive?  What are Lang's ultimate plans for his very beautiful prisoner?  Weird...deviant...unsettling...and disgusting at times.  For 90 minutes of madness and horror...see "The Manipulator."  

1 comment:

  1. Wow!' I haven't seen this movie in about 10 years. Thanks for reviewing it. Gonna have to give it a second watch.