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Schizo (1977)

Cast: Pearl Hackney, Pearl Hackney, Stephanie Beacham, more...
Director: Pete Walker, Pete Walker
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Salvation Group Ltd/Ryko Distribution
Genre: Foreign, Horror, Slashers, UK
Running Time: 109 min.

Recently Rented By DLeonard

Frightmare director Pete Walker follows-up his 1976 shocker The Confessional with this grim tale of a beautiful figure skater who falls victim to a murderous stalker. Samantha Gray was just a young girl when her mother was murdered right before her eyes. Years later, Samantha (Lynne Frederick) has grown into a talented skating star. Samantha is engaged to the man of her dreams, but when their wedding announcement draws the attention of an obsessed fan her joy quickly fades to horror. Now Samantha can't leave the house without feeling like she's being followed. When her friends begin to fall prey to a mysterious killer, Samantha becomes convinced that the stalker is someone she knows and trusts. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

British slasher flick is a cut above the rest by EPetersen October 27, 2003 - 5:27 PM PST
5 out of 5 members found this review helpful
This seminal slasher film, written and directed by 1970s horror auteur Pete Walker, (Frightmare, Die Screaming Marianne) came out four years before the first Friday The 13th, yet is much gorier (even in the R-rated version) and has more T&A. But that's not why Schizo is far superior to Friday The 13th. Schizo is better because of its strongly defined characters, solid story, good acting, and well-paced buildup of suspense.

Life is good for pretty figure skating star Samantha Gray (Lynne Frederick). She's at the peak of her career and about to marry a wonderful man. Then terror suddenly strikes, in the form of William Haskin (Jack Watson). When Samantha was a little girl, Haskin was her mother's boyfriend. Samantha saw him butcher her mother in a fit of rage. Her testimony helped send him to prison.

Now, some twenty years later, William Haskin has been paroled, and Samantha is first on his to-do list. He begins stalking her immediately, following her wherever she goes. Then, someone begins killing Samantha's friends, butchering them in horrible ways, just like her mother's murder. Is Haskin taking revenge, or is someone else out to make Samantha's life a living hell? The more you watch this movie, the more it seems that nothing is as it seems. The shocking surprise twist ending will floor you.

Director Pete Walker always expressed admiration for the work of Alfred Hitchcock, and it definitely shows in Schizo. British audiences were so shocked by the violence and terror that several filmgoers actually fainted in the theaters. But its true strength is in its story and suspense, something that too many horror movies lack.

I first found this little gem back in 1988, on K-Mart's $9.99 budget VHS movie rack. I still have the old videotape, full frame print, poor picture recorded in slow speed, and all. But this collector's edition DVD is the ultimate release! The print is the unrated, widescreen version of the film, an excellent transfer. Definitely worth a rental and a watch!

- Eric Petersen

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.00)
23 Votes
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