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Schizoid (1980)

An advice columnist begins receiving threatening notes from an anonymous stalker. Meanwhile, members of her group therapy session are being murdered by an unknown assailant.

Director:

David Paulsen

Writer:

David Paulsen
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Claude Duvernoy ... Françoise
Cindy Donlan Cindy Donlan ... Sally
Jon Greene Jon Greene ... Archie
David Assael David Assael ... Barney
Richard Balin Richard Balin ... Freddy
Fredric Cook ... Willy
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Storyline

Julie 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 hoax; but with time, it becomes apparent that someone close to her is responsible. Is it her therapist, Pieter, who has sex with his patients just before they are murdered? Or Pieter's daughter, who resents Julie for Julie's romantic involvement with Pieter? Is it Julie's ex-husband, who never really wanted their divorce? Or maybe Gilbert, the eccentric building maintenance man whom many people believe is a little crazy anyway? Just about everyone around her seems mentally disturbed enough ... Written by Brian C. Madsen <bcmmovies@earthlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Dear Julie: Don't let me do it again...


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA | Israel

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 February 1981 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Murder by Mail See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$900,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer and Director David Paulsen was told by Producers Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus that he had one month to have a screenplay ready that could be shot for under a million dollars, and that could feature Klaus Kinski, who was under contract. Paulsen also had only one month to secure a crew and shooting locations. See more »

Goofs

In the note that Julie reads is different from the note seen. The note reads: "Murder I Think about it more and more the rejection is getting so hard to take nobody cares about me I feel so ugly my head is breaking maybe you'll understand the bullets in the chamber the guns ready blow i don't want murders but I have to make them hear me can you understand help me I'm scared to death." However Julie reads "Murder I think about it more and more they talk forever about their stupid problems and i'm the one who's miserable I want to shoot them through the head and i can do it I've got his gun you're one of them i'm going to kill you to." However next we see the letter it reads exactly as Julie read it See more »

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User Reviews

 
Moderately amusing.
27 August 2013 | by Hey_SwedenSee all my reviews

"Schizoid" is a so-so stalk 'n' slash 80s thriller with a cast of familiar faces but not much to really recommend it. As a mystery it doesn't exactly work; despite the presence of red herrings, most people will figure out who the killer is early on. The kill scenes have no flair, and slasher lovers will be disappointed with the almost complete absence of gore, even though the murder weapon is a pair of scissors. As for female flesh, the ever lovely Donna Wilkes (of "Angel" fame) does give us - and her leering father - a little bit of a look at the goods. The dialogue, courtesy of writer / director David Paulsen ("Savage Weekend") is downright silly at times, but the cast does whatever it can with the material.

The pretty Mariana Hill ("High Plains Drifter") stars as Julie, an advice columnist who is receiving threatening letters from some unbalanced individual. At the same time, members of her therapy group are being knocked off. Who could the maniac be? Pieter Fales (Klaus Kinski), the sleazy psychiatrist moderating the group who has a habit of fooling around with his female patients? Doug (Craig Wasson, "Ghost Story"), Julie's soon-to-be ex-husband who doesn't want to divorce? Pieters' daughter Alison (Wilkes), an angry young woman who resents the presence of Julie in her fathers' life? Or off-putting, lonely maintenance man Gilbert (Christopher Lloyd)? The two detectives on the case (Richard Herd of "Trancers" and Joe Regalbuto of 'Murphy Brown') don't take Julie seriously at first but eventually come around.

Also featuring Flo Lawrence ("Don't Answer the Phone!") and Fredric Cook ("Jackson County Jail"), this just isn't as much fun as the viewer might wish. It's trashy enough to keep it amusing and watchable. A glum looking Kinski is interesting to watch, as always. Hill and Wasson are likable, but Wasson has what is one of the dumbest moments in the film regarding Dougs' reaction to one of the letters. Wilkes is a delight as the somewhat disturbed daughter. Lloyd is good as he underplays his role. Herd is clearly just picking up a paycheck. Everything climaxes in an awkward sequence in which all of the suspects show up in one location. Perhaps the most egregious element of "Schizoid" is the awful - albeit sometimes amusingly awful - music score by Craig Hundley, who did much better work for "Alligator" the same year.

Dedicated completists of 80s slasher cinema will want to see this, for sure, but they're advised simply to just keep those expectations low and they might have a reasonably good time.

Five out of 10.


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