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A fatuous attempt to amalgamate the maniac-with-the-knife format of Halloween with the street realism of Taxi Driver. As any horror fan knows, Halloween worked so well precisely because it was not set in any gritty urban context but in a dream-like adolescent world. In contrast, this film concerns a fascist sicko (Ironside) who terrorises a liberal woman TV reporter (Grant) just seen making an outspoken contribution to a discussion on battered wives, continuing after she has been hospitalised: a thuddingly literal theme that not only shatters any spooky atmosphere the film might have, but makes its lingeringly voyeuristic style all the more reprehensible. Not content with flashbacks to the villain's childhood, the sexist script also takes time out to congratulate the heroine on being worth killing: 'He's after you because you're a strong woman' says Grant's boss Shatner, conveniently ignoring about eight other victims. The fact that the film is not tacky in appearance, and is energetically acted, only makes it more depressing. If you want horror in a hospital, try Halloween II. DP.

Release details

Duration: 105 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Jean-Claude Lord
Screenwriter: Brian Taggart
Cast: Michael Ironside
Lee Grant
Linda Purl
William Shatner
Lenore Zann
Harvey Atkin
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