Schizo (1976 film)

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Schizo
"Schizo" U.S.film poster.jpg
U.S. poster (1977)
Directed byPete Walker
Produced byPete Walker
Written byDavid McGillivray
StarringLynne Frederick
John Leyton
Stephanie Beacham
John Fraser
Music byStanley Myers
CinematographyPeter Jessop
Release date
11 November 1976 (UK)
Running time
109 min
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish

Schizo is a 1976 slasher film directed by Pete Walker and starring Lynne Frederick.[1][2]

Plot[edit]

When figure skater Samantha Gray (Lynne Frederick) gets married to businessman Alan Falconer (John Leyton), a sinister man from her past, William Haskin (Jack Watson) starts stalking her, making her depressed. Then the grisly murders start.[3]

Cast[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Time Out wrote: "Walker and writer David McGillivray's most ambitious project to date attempts to shake off the low-budget horror/exploitation tag with a move into more up-market psychological suspense. If the formula is threadworn - a trail of victimisation, sexual paranoia, and murder in the wake of the heroine's wedding - at least some effort is made to locate it (rich middle class London). But things collapse disastrously in the second half. Caught between sending itself up and taking itself seriously, the film ends closer to the silliness of Francis Durbridge than to the menace of Alfred Hitchcock."[4]

Production[edit]

The film was made in London in mid 1976.

Frederick had known the director, Pete Walker, since she was 14 years old (Lynne's mother was a mutual friend and co-worker of Walkers). Ironically, this was the only time the two had worked together on a film.

Lynne Frederick started work on this film just days after wrapping on Voyage of the Damned (1976). When Frederick was cast in the film, Walker was under the impression that she still had the long ombré feathered hair fringe that she had in the film El vicio y la virtud (1975). Unbeknownst to Walker, Frederick had cut her hair short and dyed to her natural brunette for her role in Voyage of the Damned (1976). At first shocked, Walker ultimately felt that Frederick's new shorter and darker hairstyle made her look more sophisticated and was better suited for her character in the film.

Due to the films low budget, many of Lynne Frederick's clothes came from her own personal wardrobe. Frederick had worn many of these outfits the previous year in the film A Long Return (Largo retorno) (1975).

Release[edit]

The release of Schizo (1976) was rushed to coincidence with the anticipated success of Frederick’s highly acclaimed performance in Voyage of the Dammed (1976). It was hoped that the success of that film would garner a following for Frederick and bring in extra earnings for this film. Ultimately this plan backfired and the film was released in the UK on November 11, 1976, nearly a month before Voyage of the Dammed, and did not generate the desired buzz.

The film received a release in the US on December 7, 1977.

Legacy[edit]

Although the film was not a success during its initial release, it became a cult classic in the horror movie community. The underground success of the film was in part due to Lynne Frederick’s new found cult fanbase. This film (along with Vampire Circus (1971)) helped establish Frederick as a scream queen icon of the 1970s.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jason Buchanan. "Schizo (1976)". Allmovie. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  2. ^ "Schizo". BFI.
  3. ^ "Fantastic Movie Musings & Ramblings - SCHIZO (1976)". Scifilm.org. 2012-11-20. Retrieved 2014-03-04.
  4. ^ "Schizo | review, synopsis, book tickets, showtimes, movie release date | Time Out London". Timeout.com. Retrieved 2014-03-04.

External links[edit]