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Night Terror

November 20th, 2007 by unkle lancifer · 1 Comment


Harried homemaker Carol Turner (VALERIE HARPER) has much on her plate, her family is in the middle of a move and she just can’t seem to get it together. Forgetful and frazzled, she relies on her husband’s near constant guidance. Due to uncontrollable events Carol is about to get a crash course in self preservation. Learning her youngest child has fallen ill, she set’s off on an impromptu road trip to Phoenix. This is a ballsy move for old Sal, who was previously peevish about driving on the interstate. Her initial experiences while driving on her own two feet are uniformly dismal. Young hippy haired kids mock her and fellow female drivers disown her. When she finds she’s run out of gas her instinct to ask for help from others gets her into deep shit, as she witnesses the murder of a cop and is tagged by his executioner as a target that must be snuffed. A car chase follows that can easily be read as the female version of STEVEN SPIELBERG’S DUEL. What’s different here is the depiction of the threatening driver RICHARD ROMANUS, whose scarred neck and dog tags imply a war vet. This guy is actually scary and it’s not because he speaks through one of those robot electro-larynx doohickies. It’s because when the soap dispenser fails in a public restroom, he rips it off the wall, plus he’s also mean to waitresses. The two-steps forward one-step back pacing is either suspenseful or frustrating depending on your tastes. The dated ending which has her unaware husband making light of Sal’s usual helplessness is hysterical. She stops just short of winking at the audience.

INDELIBLE SCENE(S)

  • Quinn Cummings alert!
  • Val’s “second honeymoon” attire
  • Scary bad guy’s rabbit howls
  • The Hamptons boozer that Val inadvertently kills
  • Privileged Val thinks she can buy anyone with a twenty

Special thanks to Richard at Doomed Moviethon!

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Tags: Telenasties




1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Amanda By NightNo Gravatar // Sep 9, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    This movie so totally fucked me up as a kid. I never forgot it. Ever. Romanus is so horribly terrifying it just sticks with you.

    I agree, it’s kind of haphazard effort, pacing-wise and doesn’t held the same kind of fear for me now. Still, now that I’m older, I kind of want to sleep with the bad guy, so it’s an adult fuck me up now!

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