Tongue-in-cheek dark humor, bloody slasher, and melodramatic TV soap opera all rolled into one!
(***1/2 out of *****)I'm surprised this one isn't talked about more (at least, on a schlocky,cult-classic level). It's awesome! Susan Tyrrell ("Flesh & Blood") playsCheryl Roberts, a frighteningly unstable woman who has to raise hernephew,Billy (Jimmy McNichol), when his parents are killed in a gruesome caraccident in the opening scene. Aunt Cheryl's overaffectionate behaviortowards her 17-year-old nephew sets the creepy tone for this movie fromthefirst five minutes, but the main plot starts after she stabs a plumber todeath for refusing her sexual advances. She claims that he was trying torape her, so a police investigation starts up that uncovers dark, pastsecrets and a homosexual love affair between the plumber, Billy'sbasketballcoach (Steve Eastin), and possibly Billy himself. Bo Svenson, acting alittle like a gruff, B-movie Nick Nolte, chews up his scenes as theblindlyhomophobic Detective Carlson. But, Tyrrell is the real star here -- herprogression from disturbing, obsessive aunt to all-out, screaming,homicidalmadwoman is something to watch. This would probably be a two-star movieorless without her wonderfully tongue-in-cheek performance. On top of that,you get "Newhart"'s Julia Duffy as Billy's girlfriend (if you everfantasized about seeing Stephanie Vanderkellen topless, here's yourchance)and Bill Paxton (credited as `William'), a year after his scene-stealingrole in the otherwise-mediocre slasher "Mortuary," in a couple of funscenesas an a-hole b-ball teammate. My two big complaints with the film are thedirector's annoying use of slow motion every time someone's about todelivera killing blow with one sharp weapon or another and a ridiculous textualepilogue (the kind you usually see at the ends of movies based on truestories) that appears before the end credits roll. Also, the front of thevideo box seems to be referring to a different movie ... ? Otherwise,huntthis one down and watch it with someone you love.
HIGHLIGHT: Everything that happens after Tyrrell cuts her hair short is ahighlight, because that's when she goes completely off the deep end andearns her place in B-movie cinema's Hall of Over-The-TopPerformances.