Tuesday, October 20, 2020

POINT OF TERROR (1971) Blu-ray Review

SCARE-A-THON Totals to Date:

Total Movies Watched: 19
Total First Time Views: 11
Amount raised for BOXVILLE: $1,374.08

Point of Terror (1971) d. Alex Nicol (USA) (88 min) (1st viewing)

Tony Trelos (Peter Carpenter), The Lobster House’s featured crooner extraordinaire, has dreams of becoming a big recording star. While sunning his finely chiseled body on the beach one day, he crosses paths with hot-to-trot Andrea Hilliard (Dyanne Thorne, four years before her breakout role as Ilsa, She-Wolf of the S.S.), wife of hotshot music producer Martin Hilliard (Joel Marston). Before you can sing the opening refrain of “Lifebeats” (and please don’t), Tony and Andrea are a not-so-subtle item, intended to drive the wheelchair-bound Martin off the deep end with jealousy. This queasy power triangle – in which no one really loves each other as much as they love themselves – persists until its breaking point (of terror!), and there will be no happy sing-a-longs come final call.

Holy moley. Less straight-ahead horror flick than sudsy unhinged melodrama, this transparent vanity project by producer/star Carpenter (who also co-wrote the screen story with producer Chris Marconi) is such a grab-bag of inspired insanity that it manages to be wildly entertaining for all the wrong reasons. From its “is this a joke?” opening titles sequence featuring Carpenter doing his best Tom Jones impression wearing a stunningly impressive red-fringed jumpsuit to the poolside sequence of Andrea jousting with her crippled hubby (with accompanying bullfight sounds!), there’s rarely a realistic moment to be had, and yet somehow everyone plays it completely straight-faced.

This represents busy TV actor and sometime director Nicol’s (The Screaming Skull) last effort behind the camera, although he continued to appear in such schlock classics as A*P*E, The Night God Screamed, and Bloody Mama, and he gives it his best, recalling at times some of Russ Meyer’s less flamboyant 1960s efforts. (Coincidentally, Carpenter’s first role was that of the amorous Mountie in Meyer’s Vixen.) With equal opportunity nudity, horrible fashion statements, power ballads, booze-fueled rants, and “romantic” montages by the score, there’s something for everyone.

Assisting Nicol in his vision are cinematographer Bob Maxwell, who lensed such memorable outings as Blood Mania (also starring Carpenter), as well as The Candy Snatchers, House of Terror, The Centerfold Girls, and Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (as well as a couple of X-rated features as “John Williams,” including the classic Candy Stripers). And who’s that billed as our Supervising Editor? Why, none other than Verna Fields, who would be bringing home the Oscar for Jaws a short four years later.

One-and-done Ernest A. Charles (who also shows up in the final moments as our food-mooching detective to needlessly recap the plot) and Tony Crechales (The Killing Kind, William Grefe’s Impulse) are given screenplay credit, although I’m sure they’d be happy to deny it.

While your screams will likely be of laughter rather than fright, there’s plenty of fun to be had here. Turkey lovers, line up!


LIMITED EDITION EXCLUSIVE: Bonus DVD featuring alternate TV versions for both films! (Limited to 3,000 units)
Region free 3-disc Blu-ray and DVD combo pack
Both films scanned and restored in 2k from 35mm camera negative
Commentary track on Blood Mania with Robert Vincent O'Neill (Director), Leslie Simms (Actress) and Vicki Peters (Actress)
Video interview and introduction with director Robert Vincent O'Neill
Video interview with actress Leslie Simms
Theatrical trailers for both films
TV spots for both films
Promotional galleries for both films
Reverse cover artwork
English SDH Subtitles

Point of Terror is available now on Blu-ray (paired with Blood Mania) from Vinegar Syndrome and can be ordered HERE:



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