The Killing Kind (1973)

The Killing Kind (1973)

Troubled and unstable Oedipal wreck sex offender Terry Lambert (an excellent and convincing performance by John Savage in an early lead role) gets released from prison after serving a two year sentence for gang rape he was forced to participate in and returns to the gloomy boarding house run by his doting and desperately lonely overbearing mother Thelma (superbly played with moving restraint and subtlety by Ann Southern). Terry develops an unhealthy fixation on comely, but naive aspiring model new boarder Lori Davis (a fine portrayal by Cindy Williams) and plots revenge on the folks responsible for sending him to jail. Director Curtis Harrington, working from a grimly compelling script by George Edwards and Tony Crechales, delivers an arrestingly stark, sad, and deeply creepy portrait of everyday madness, despair, denial, and the darker side of smothering motherhood that inevitably begets insanity and tragedy while doing his trademark expert job of creating and sustaining a bleak and seamy atmosphere that proves to be quite potent, intriguing, and ultimately heartbreaking as the depressing narrative unfolds towards a shattering bummer conclusion. Moreover, the uncomfortably incestuous and suffocating relationship between Terry and Thelma, a severely deviant and twisted sexuality, a few shocking moments of sudden brutal violence, and a dryly amusing sense of black humor further add to this picture's supremely unsettling edge. (IMDB  Woodyanders)

John Savage

Cindy Williams

Sue Bernard

Luana Anders

Ruth Roman

Helene Winston

Ann Sothern

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