Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Psycho from Texas (1975)

Aka: Wheeler

Directors: Jack Collins & Jim Feazell

Writer: Jim Feazell

Composer: Jaime Mendoza-Nava

Starring:  John King III, Herschel Mays, Tommy Lamey, Candy Dee, Janel King, Joanne Bruno, Reed Johnson, Jack Collins, Marland Proctor, Christian Feazell, Paul Givens, Harold Grimmett, Lennea Quigley

More info: IMDb

Tagline: He Hunts Women His KNIFE Tells Him To!

Plot: A drifter/hitman is hired by a local business man to kidnap the local oil baron. The hitman had been reared in squalor, suffering the abuses of his whoring mama. When the baron escapes his assistant must chase him while the hitman takes care of a few loose ends.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? YES!!!


This is so-bad-it's-good-but-it's-kinda-good-in-its-own-special-way.  While I watched it I was astonished at how there can be so much shit mixed in with the good.  For example, Wheeler (King) walks toward the camera wearing a black coat.  He's supposed to go all the way up to the lens to make a nice, black transition to the next scene but he stops short, realizes it and continues the final couple of inches that he should've to begin with.  Classic.  Here's our villain:

Handsome fella, ain't he?  When the waitress spurns his terrible charm we get a closeup on his eyes with some menacing music and then we're at a hotel room where she lies dead on the bed as he cleans the knife.  NICE!  But it turns out it's just him thinking about what he'd do to her.  We soon get a flashback to his early childhood to discover that he was mistreated by his whorin' mama.

Later on we get flashback to her beating him.  It's quite sad, actually, and effective.  There are some neat turns to the story like when things go awry with the kidnapping and the victim escapes.  It's up to this imbecile to fix his stupid mistake.

Looking like MY NAME IS EARL, Slick (that's his name) has to catch the escapee in one of the longest (if not THE longest) foot chases I've ever seen.  It's got a few nice moments where you think you know where it's going but it fools you.  Nice.  Wheeler ends up killing a broad where the, and I'm not kidding you, the Old Southern black maid finds her and loses her shit.

It's jaw-droppingly funny.  Remember those really old MGM Tom and Jerry cartoons where the large black woman freaks out when she sees Jerry, jumps on a chair and starts screaming for Jasper (Tom's name originally)?  Yeah, that's this gal.

But all of that might be inconsequential to any of you fans of 80s horror cinema as one of the greatest scream queens makes her acting debut, Linnea Quigley, and, you guessed it, she gets naked.

To say she gets naked in her movies is a given and an understatement.  She's been in 124 films and it's reasonable to estimate that she was naked in over 200 of them.  Her Baptism by Beer is sadistic and strangely watchable.  Fortunately (or not) we get a couple of minutes of it.  I read somewhere online that (and this makes sense because you can easily do the math to figure out her age) her scene was filmed a few years later after she was 18 and inserted into the movie and released in 1982 as PSYCHO FROM TEXAS...as told by the excellent site, Templeofschlock.blogspot.com.  This picture has all kinds of good and bad but it all culminates to a beautifully fucked up finale.  LOVED IT.  It's films like this that make you want to make your own movies, partly because you think you can do better and because it looks like it would be a hell of a lot of fun to make a picture like this.  I'm sold.  I'd swear that I heard a few years ago about this being shown in a theater in Texas.  I didn't know squat about it then but I'm sure keen to not miss an opportunity like that again.  You can watch the whole thing on YouTube!  Yay!

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