‘Madness in many forms’
Delirium is a 1979 horror-thriller about a Vietnam vet hired by local right-wingers as a vigilante to eradicate criminals and street people. However, he freaks out and starts killing off random women.
Directed by Peter Maris (Zombie Hunters; Alien Species; The Killer Inside; Land of Doom; Ministry of Vengeance), making his feature debut, from a screenplay co-written with Richard Yalem based on a story co-written by Eddie Krell and Jim Loew. Produced by Peter Maris and Sonny Vest.
The Delirium Associates/Worldwide Productions movie stars Turk Cekovsky, Debi Chaney, Terry TenBroek, Barron Winchester, Bob Winters, Garrett Bergfeld and Nick Panouzis.
Severin Films is releasing Delirium on Blu-ray for the first time ever restored from the only known 35mm print in existence on January 22nd 2022. Special Features:
Directing Delirium: Interview with director Peter Maris
Monster Is Man: Interview With Special Effects Artist Bob Shelley
Preorder from Severin Films
” …we get a compendium of cop/action and psycho-killer cliches (the psycho killer is both a disturbed Vietnam vet and impotent – the cop investigating the case has a romance with one of the witnesses – witness decides to do her own investigation instead of waiting for the police) and stupid characters […] For all that, the movie is watchable in its own low-budget way…” Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings
” …this is one crazy picture! It was made for pocket change and a few of the scenes are too dark to see much, and the performances have a distinctly local theatre group feel, and there’s nothing imaginative or exciting about the filmmaking, but I still got quite a bit of enjoyment out of this loopy daffodil!” Ha ha, it’s Burl!
“The story is interesting, even exciting, but the script and the way things pan out is so lazy, and so stupid that Delirium fails to have any impact. The idea of hiring ex Vietnam soldiers is a cool idea, and even the early flashbacks hint at something darker to come from the story, but it never does, and all the director’s efforts go into making a straight-up “whodunit” type thriller…” Horror Cult Films
“Mostly, it’s a murkily-filmed regional runaround, with already-dated-by-1979 plaid fashions for the cops and acres of pretend tough-talk passed off as character stuff. If it had an inspiration, it was probably Magnum Force, though the workings of the vigilante group which becomes the focus of the plot are underdeveloped…” The Kim Newman Web Site
“Bob Spelling’s gore effects outshine their obvious minimalistic funding and the maniac is especially brutal. The way that the female characters are conveyed does come across with a far too misogynistic sheen though, especially as it seems that women are slaughtered simply for being women. There is a certain gruesomeness in the randomness of the killer’s attacks, however…” A Slash Above…
Cast and characters:
Turk Cekovsky … Paul Dollinger
Debi Chaney … Susan Norcross
Terry TenBroek … Larry Mead (as Terry Ten Broek)
Barron Winchester … Eric Stem
Bob Winters … Donald Andrews
Garrett Bergfeld … Mark
Nick Panouzis … Charlie Gunther
Harry Gorsuch … Captain Hearn
Chris Chronopolis … Det. Parker
Lloyd Schattyn … Detective Simms
Jack Garvey … Devlin
Mike Kalist … Specter
Myron Kozman … Wells
Pat Knapko … Jenny Thompson
Letty Garris … Hitchhiker
Charlotte Littrel … Vietnamese prostitute
Delirium had its world premiere on July 19th 1979 in St. Louis, Missouri.
The cabal’s theme tune which is played during their meetings and over the end credits is a music library track called ‘Approaching Menace’ by Neil Richardson, which is instantly recognisable in Britain as the signature tune for the TV quiz show Mastermind.
In the UK, the VTC VHS release Delirium was one of the very first Section 2 video nasties. In 1987, the film was released on VHS in a BBFC censored version retitled Psycho Puppet.
Some images courtesy of Temple of Schlock
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