SCHIZOID (1980) Reviews and Vinegar Syndrome 4K + Blu-ray news

  

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Schizoid is being released by Vinegar Syndrome on a double-bill with X-Ray as a 4K + Blu-ray set on April 26, 2022. Special features:

3-disc set: Two 4K Ultra HDs and 1 Region A Blu-ray
4K UHDs presented in High-Dynamic-Range
Newly scanned and restored in 4K from their 35mm original camera negatives
“Shooting by March” – a brand new interview with Schizoid writer/director David Paulsen
“Hide the Scissors” – a brand new interview with Schizoid actress Donna Wilkes
“Blood in the Jacuzzi” – a brand new interview with Schizoid makeup artist Erica Ueland
“A Wellesley Graduate” – a brand new interview with Schizoid actress Flo Lawrence
“Ultra Violet Vengeance: The Talent & Technicians of X-Ray” – a brand new making-of documentary featuring interviews with the cast and crew of X-Ray
“Bad Medicine” – an archival interview with X-Ray director Boaz Davidson
Original theatrical trailer for Schizoid
Inside cover artwork
English SDH subtitles

Here’s our previous coverage of this sleazy-Giallo style slasher:

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MURDERSchizoid is a 1980 American mystery horror thriller film produced by Yoram Globus, and Menahem Golan for their Cannon Group. It was written and directed by David Paulsen (Savage Weekend).

The movie stars Klaus Kinski, Marianna Hill (Messiah of Evil), Craig Wasson (Ghost StoryA Nightmare on Elm Street 3), Donna Wilkes (Jaws 2, Grotesque), Joe Regalbuto (Invitation to Hell), Flo Gerrish (Don’t Answer the Phone!), Richard Herd and Christopher Lloyd (The Addams Family).

UK Blu-ray release:
On 24th August 2020, 88 Films released Schizoid as a Limited Edition Blu-ray. Order via Amazon.co.uk

Interview with Writer / Director David Paulsen
Original Trailer
Audio Commentary with Troy Howarth and Nathaniel Thompson
English Subtitles

Plot:
Julie (Marianna Hill) is an advice columnist for the city newspaper who begins to receive anonymous notes threatening murder and worse. At about the same time, female members of the group therapy session she attends are being stabbed, one by one, by an unknown assailant. Is there a connection? If so, why do the notes talk about murder with a gun, while the murder victims are being stabbed?

At first, the police, her ex-husband, her therapist and her friends all assure her that the notes are probably unrelated, and a hoax; but with time, it becomes apparent that someone close to her is responsible.

Is it her therapist, Pieter (Klaus Kinski), who takes advantage of his patients just before they are murdered? Or Pieter’s daughter (Donna Wilkes), who resents Julie for Julie’s romantic involvement with Pieter? Is it Julie’s ex-husband (Craig Wasson), who never really wanted their divorce? Or maybe Gilbert (Christopher Lloyd), the eccentric building maintenance man?

Reviews:
” …you’ll guess the slayer if you follow this simple, time-worn formula: (familiar actor) + (limited screen time) = killer. Hell, you’ll probably get there without it, but that’s never stopped anyone from enjoying a little murderous mayhem. The cast is all on board; Hill is a resilient heroine, Wasson is solid, Lloyd is terrific, and surprise, surprise, Kinski is considerably subdued to fit in on the other actors’ wavelength.” Daily Dead

” … Schizoid makes a good-faith effort to function as a murder mystery; it focuses the story primarily on adult characters; it makes at least a ritualistic bow in the direction of having some sort of official interest in solving the crimes. It also takes most of its stylistic cues from earlier Italian thrillers, right down to the fetishisation of the killer’s black leather gloves. And like a great many gialli, it is both intermittently effective and intermittently hilarious.” 1000 Misspent Hours… and Counting

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“The film has a couple of decent scares, though it’s a fairly squirm-inducing outing most of the time. There’s one patent rip off of the infamous Psycho shower scene, this time transported to a hut tub, replete with Bernard Herrmann-esque sul ponticello strings (lovingly aped by an eighties’ era synthesizer). And while Schizoid tips its hand just a bit too early for its own good (at least with regard to some of what’s going on), the film at least does something a little creative with its denouement…” Blu-ray.com

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Schizoid has quite a few things going for it: a twisty turny plot, some nice American Giallo-esque stylings, some Craig Wasson goodness, and of course, the incomparable Klaus Kinski.” Ain’t It Cool News

“Unfortunately, the affair is handled so clumsily that the various characters might as well have “Suspect” or “Victim” superimposed above their heads, along with a percentage value of the odds.” Horror 101

“Despite some less than stellar acting, the movie is a delightful reminder of why the ‘80s were the best decade for horror movies. It is equal parts gore, mystery and melodrama. Not only that, but it manages to create an intriguing mystery that will keep you guessing until the killer is revealed.” Retro Slashers

” … there’s little doubt that Paulsen was well-versed in gialli—it just so happens that his familiarity didn’t quite help him make a particularly great one. Schizoid is quite functional and proceeds along with just enough intrigue to remain interesting, though I’m not exaggerating too terribly when I say it’s mostly driven by Kinski’s creepy on-screen relationship with his daughter …” Oh, the Horror!

“Paulsen proves equally pedestrian both as a writer and as a director. The plotting of the film is predictable and downright obvious, making the killer’s identity […] transparent […] It’s so obvious who the killer is, it’s almost not worth worth trying to be coy about it…” Troy Howarth, So Deadly, So Perverse Volume 3: Giallo-Style Films from Around the World

“Kinski’s scenes with his disturbed teenage daughter or those where he prowls relentlessly through the house have a visual and dramatic resonance quite absent from the rest of the film…” The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror

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GODSEND-SCHIZOID

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Cast and characters:

Klaus Kinski … Pieter Fales
Donna Wilkes … Alison Fales
Marianna Hill … Julie
Craig Wasson … Doug
Richard Herd … Donahue
Joe Regalbuto … Jake
Christopher Lloyd … Gilbert
Flo Lawrence … Pat (as Flo Gerrish)
Kiva Lawrence … Rosemary
Claude Duvernoy … Françoise
Cindy Donlan … Sally
Jon Greene … Archie
David Assael … Barney
Richard Balin … Freddy
Fredric Cook … Willy

Filming locations:
Silver Lake, Los Angeles, California

Technical details:
1 hour 29 minutes
Aspect ratio: 1.78: 1
Audio: Mono

Notes:
This film should not be confused with Lucio Fulci’s A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin (1971), which was released in the USA as Schizoid.

The film’s working title was Murder by Mail

Trailer:

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