This twisted little psychosexual masterpiece (a.k.a. Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker) stars the late Susan Tyrrell in a tour-de-force turn of derangement.
Tyrrell plays Aunt Cheryl, who loves her teenage nephew Billy (Jimmy McNichol) a little too much and gets jealous when he plans to leave for college. When she bloodily kills a TV repairman who rejects her advances, and turns out to have been the gay lover of Billy’s basketball coach, she opens a Pandora’s box of suspicion and murder that attracts the attention of a homophobic detective played by ’70s he-man Bo Svenson. Director William Asher (who also passed away early this year), whose résumé consisted of the Beach Party movies and TV fare like I Love Lucy and Bewitched, nonetheless turned out one of the best ’80s horror films you’ve probably never seen—it got lost among the generic slasher fare of the day and has never been on DVD—with an eye-popping opening car-crash sequence and early turns by a pre-Newhart Julia Duffy (who goes topless) and “William” Paxton.
Director: William Asher. 96 min. 1982. 35mm.
Guest-curated by Fangoria’s Michael Gingold, who will introduce the screening.
Special thanks to American Genre Film Archive for use of the 35mm film print.
Ticket Price: $12, Film Club Member: $8
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