Sunday, June 18, 2017

Twisted Nerve (1968)

Director: Roy Boulting

Writers: Leo Marks, Roy Boulting, Roger Marshall, Jeremy Scott

Composer: Bernard Herrmann

Starring: Hayley Mills, Hywel Bennett, Billie Whitelaw, Phyllis Calvert, Barry Foster, Frank Finlay, Salmaan Peerzada, Christian Robers

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Cleaver. Cleaver. Chop. Chop. First the mom and then the pop. Then we'll get the pretty girl. We'll get her right between the curl.

Plot: Martin is a troubled young man. With a mother who insists on treating him like a child, a stepfather who can't wait to see the back of him, and a brother with Down's Syndrome shut away in an institution, is it any wonder he retreats into an alternate personality - that of six-year-old Georgie? It is Georgie who befriends Susan Harper, but friendship soon turns into obsession. When Susan begins to distance herself, something inside Georgie snaps and he embarks on a killing spree, with Susan as the next target.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again?  No.

This is one of those pictures I watched strictly because of the composer.  This time it's Bernard Herrmann, one of my favorites.  His music was a contrast to others.  His music was not only unique but it had a mysterious quality that often perfectly matched the visuals.  As soon as you hear the whistling theme you'll mostly likely recognized Tarantino's use of it in KILL BILL (2003).  I've been a fan of Herrmann's for more than thirty years and this theme has been bouncing in my head ever since.  I FINALLY got around to watching the movie.  It's a British thriller so it's practically already got good written all over it.  It looks good, the acting is very good and it plays well.  It takes a while before the body count rises but it's not dull for a moment as long as you give yourself into it.  Martin/Georgie (Bennett) has issues and someone's got to pay.  The leisurely pace will likely turn some folks off but it is a pretty good psychological thriller if you stick with it until the end.  Herrmann's music brings that TWILIGHT ZONE quality to it which isn't surprising since he wrote a good deal of music for that classic Rod Serling series. 

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