Wednesday, February 7, 2024

The Thrill Killers, Four Lunatics on a Binge

Are all men lunatics?  Many a woman has asked this.  Well, most are...and some are just useless.  hence our film today, 1964's "The Thrill Killers," directed by Ray Dennis Steckler. This very likable and vicious low-budget treat will have plenty of psychopaths, nubile women slaughtered, and plenty of gratuitous killings.  Also, rare for 1964...decapitations.  So, with damsels in plenty of trouble and their men powerless to save them, this film chalks up kills throughout.

Three lunatics, Gary (Gary Kent), Herbie (Herb Robins), and Keith (Keith O'Brien) escape from a mental asylum after murdering five guards.  They are on the run. Already on the loose is Mort (Steckler)...he's more homicidal than the escaped lunatics.  Yep...the four know one another. Babes watch out.  Mort murders a traveling salesman and finds a dancing girl (Erina Devore). He'll slap her around endlessly, humiliate her, and stab her dozens of times with a scissors.  Oh yes...aspiring actor Joe (Joseph Bardo) and his sultry ex-actress wife Liz (Liz Renay) are just figuring out they will never make it in Hollywood.  The three lunatics then go on a decapitation binge and murder a few more. 

Liz flees the Hollywood lifestyle and ends up at the diner where her babe cousin Linda (Laura Benedict) is a waitress.  Joe follows as he wants his wife back.  Now all these peeps meet at the diner and the three lunatics are quite taken with the beauty of Linda and Liz.  Joe seems helpless...but now is his shot to prove he has worth outside his failed acting career.  He better hurry...Mort is on the way.  What follows is a lot of murder, damsels in much distress, and the wrath of some angry women.  Gunshots, an axe, poison, and cold blooded murder follow. 

Will any of the babes survive to the end credits?  Will failed actor Joe find some balls and mount an offense against the psychos that seek to soil and take apart his wife?  How much more violent will it get when Mort arrives to join his lunatic buddies?  This is a vicious one with a lot of cheese and some very heartbreaking kills.  For some good 1960s low-budget violence and exploitation, see "The Thrill Killers." 

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