‘When the left hand doesn’t know who the right hand is killing!!’
Schizo is a 1976 British slasher film produced and directed by Pete Walker. It stars Lynne Frederick, John Leyton, Stephanie Beacham (Dracula A.D. 1972; House of Mortal Sin) and John Fraser (The Gorgon).
Even at the time the film garnered a reputation for portraying mental illness in a rather misleading way and a pre-credits disclaimer was added to deflect criticism. The British pre-cert release also suffered over a minute’s worth of cuts but the current US Redemption Blu-Ray is fully uncut.
A little girl watches helplessly as she is the sole witness to her mother’s murder.
Years later, that little girl has grown into the beautiful skating star Samantha Gray (Lynne Frederick). However, after her wedding announcement is published in the local newspaper, a man who becomes more and more obsessed with her begins turning up everywhere she goes.
Samantha’s fear mounts as one by one her friends are murdered, and she becomes convinced that the stalker is no stranger…
“Tautly structured by regular Walker pen man David McGillivray and boasting some nifty camerawork by Peter Jessop (whose credits include the TV showpieces Piece of Cake and G.B.H.), Schizo delivers a lot more than its tacky, shatter-font title suggests. It’s as sound an introduction to the cinema of Pete Walker as you’ll find, and a rather smart little thriller that deserves rediscovery.” CineOutsider
“Highly effective stabbings mix with nice touches of the Italian giallo – notice the loving fetishization of bladed weaponry. Frederick does terror really well and Stephanie Beacham is also on hand as Samantha’s best friend for some nice additional eye candy for the male viewers.” Horace Cordier, Rock! Shock! Pop!
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“Schizo is not nearly as suspenseful as Hitchcock’s work – although it’s not devoid of tension either – but the real selling point is its visceral nature. Reminiscent of the Italian giallo films of the same era, the death scenes are equally nasty and stylish (and there’s even an eyeball spear). While Schizo may not be Walker’s best work, it’s worth watching, particularly in glorious high definition.” HorrorNews.net
Cast and characters:
- Lynne Frederick … Samantha Gray
- John Leyton … Alan Falconer
- Stephanie Beacham … Beth
- John Fraser … Leonard Hawthorne
- Jack Watson … William Haskin
- Queenie Watts … Mrs. Wallace
- Trisha Mortimer … Joy
- John McEnery … Stephens [uncredited]
- Paul Alexander … Peter McAllister
- Robert Mill … Maitre
- Diana King … Mrs. Falconer
- Colin Jeavons … Commissioner
- Victor Winding … Sergent
- Raymond Bowers … Manager
- Pearl Hackney … Lady at Seance
- Terry Duggan … Editor
- Lindsay Campbell … Falconer
- Wendy Gilmore … Samantha’s Mother
- Primi Townsend … Secretary
- Victoria Allum … Samantha as Child
Buy Making Mischief: The Cult Films of Peter Walker book from Amazon.com
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