The Todd Killings

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The Todd Killings establishes a microcosm of American matriarchal society, and then tosses in a suitably bourgeois Manson figure to stir it up. Good-looking dropout Skipper Todd (Lyons) hates old age (though the pensioners in his mother's hostel indirectly provide his allowance), hates girls (and screws them to prove what trash they are), and hates his father-substitute teacher (whose liberal homilies are very wide of the mark). Bored with dope of all kinds, he starts to live more dangerously: falling in love with a butch lad (Thomas) just out of remand home, and destroying the girls in a series of thrill-killings. Shear's astounding film goes beyond the alienation, bikini beaches, and campus revolt of earlier 'youth pics' to a hardcore nihilism, and it spells out the message underlying the long Hollywood heritage of misogynistic, latent homosexual heroes. Mounted like true tabloid journalism, as sensational as anything of Sam Fuller's, it's a genuinely provocative account of the souring of the American Dream.

Release details

Duration: 93 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Barry Shear
Screenwriter: Dennis Murphy, Joel Oliansky
Cast: Robert F Lyons
Richard Thomas
Belinda Montgomery
Barbara Bel Geddes
Sherry Miles
Joyce Ames
Holly Near
James Broderick
Gloria Grahame
Fay Spain
Edward Asner
Michael Conrad
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