Thursday, September 2, 2010

Point of Terror (Alex Nicol, 1971)

Friends, two things about me. One, I have been a Dyanne Thorne fan longer than I knew who Dyanne Thorne was. A little film called Real Men got me started. Those were the VHS days, and with no legitimate internet around you had to do boring stuff like watch credits. Not this kid. Two. I try not to talk about anything that sucks on my blog. The world is full of enough suck without me adding to it. When I do talk about things that suck, it is meant to be a cautionary tale. Learn, friends, from my mistakes. By that I mean avoid Point of Terror at all costs. Unfortunately, I hate to say it. Here is why.

I have tried my best to see everything Thorne has been in, from her 60 seconds in Star Trek to all four Ilsa films. Call me kooky, but I think she's a good actress, particularly in the B-movie world. Point of Terror is no exception. By a half an hour in, I was thinking this is Dyanne's best performance ever. Seriously. She isn't beating anyone to death, or wagging her tits around. It is a good, solid acting job, her portrayal of Andrea. A rich woman with a wheelchair-bound husband and a dangerous past. The step-mother who never wanted children. The booze and pills cougar prowling for healthy young men. For once, she gets to act with no gimmicks, sneers, or cheesy remarks.

So, what went wrong?

Everything else.

Peter Carpenter, the writer/male-lead, for one. This tale is supposedly autobiographical. He has a vivid imagination, I'm sure. He struts around doing his Tom Jones cover band shtick for half the movie. For the other half he is the sensitive guy, who just happens to get more tail than Motley Crue. If there was a woman with a line in this film he didn't have a roll in the hay with, I'll eat my copy of the DVD. Oh, but he is sensitive.

Secondly... Well, since Carpenter also wrote the film, I guess we are still on firsties. Dyanne and her husband have some terrible secret. Apparently, they murdered a woman together, and while getting away, drunk Dyanne wrecks the car and paralyzes her husband. I say "apparently" because they never really get into it. You see a grizzly murder taking place for a few seconds, then... Well, they forget the whole thing. Next, Dyanne kills her husband, because she hates him and wants a life. Carpenter sees it happen and holds it over her. She holds his recording contract over him. He bangs a lot of chicks. She threatens him. He marries her stepdaughter. She tells him they screwed the inheritance. He throws her off a cliff.

Now, if you think that is a trite story... Wait for it...

IT WAS ALL A DREAM!

Oh! That old chestnut! I'm so glad Mr. Carpenter reached deep into the creativity box to see how the police were going to handle all these "accidental deaths" that take place at the same house. I'm glad he decided to tie up all those loose ends in such a tidy bundle. I'm glad I took AP Sarcasm in high school.

Please. For the love of whatever you find holy, avoid this stink bomb of a film. You have to really, really dig Dyanne Thorne to watch this. I love the woman like she was my mother, but by Cheese, this wretched film is not worthy of viewing save by those self-flagellants like me.

4 comments:

Al Bruno III said...

POINT OF TERROR is a terrible terrible fim.

And it saved my life. I had a terrible case of the flu, I couldn't sleep- even breathing hurt.

What else was there to do but watch one of the gobs of horror films I own?

So I popped POINT OF TERROR into the DVD player.

And I was suddenly too busy laughing my ass off to worry about being sick.

God bless you Peter Carpenter- wherever you are.

Darius Whiteplume said...

I was so looking forward to this being passable. I can tolerate a lot, particularly when Dyanne Thorne is concerned.

"Take me as I am am..." over and over... Oy vey ;-)

Anonymous said...

I met Dyanne Thorne at a movie convention last year, and it was truly memorable. She was most often asked by fans about the ILSA movies, of course, but I went sideways and queried her a bit about BLOOD SABBATH, which has the most nudity of her I've seen. If there was disappointment, it wa steh fact she's so much tinier than you imagine her to be -- not the dominatrix you envision, but a real, living, breathing (and still gorgeous) woman.

Darius Whiteplume said...

I liked Blood Sabbath [review] - it was a very enjoyable one.

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