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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric chiller from Pete Walker!
If you have never seen one of Pete Walker's films, you are really missing out on something.
Although not Pete Walker's best film, SCHIZO (1976) bears the winning trademarks of this unusual director/producer: highly atmospheric settings (especially the seedy and depressed aspect of England of the 70's), characters disturbed by confused memories of childhood trauma,...
Published on December 5, 2001

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Giallo-style shocker rewards patience
SCHIZO

(UK - 1976)

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Theatrical soundtrack: Mono

SCHIZO is a giallo-style shocker from British director Pete Walker (HOUSE OF WHIPCORD, FRIGHTMARE), which offers an appropriately convoluted plot allied to a series of brutal killings by person or persons unknown. The marriage of ice-skating star Samantha Gray (Lynne...
Published on December 5, 2001 by Libretio


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric chiller from Pete Walker!, December 5, 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Schizo (DVD)
If you have never seen one of Pete Walker's films, you are really missing out on something.
Although not Pete Walker's best film, SCHIZO (1976) bears the winning trademarks of this unusual director/producer: highly atmospheric settings (especially the seedy and depressed aspect of England of the 70's), characters disturbed by confused memories of childhood trauma, and a slow-paced plot line that accelerates near the end of the film to a strange and twisted endpoint.
The acting is SCHIZO is (for a horror chiller) very good. The screenplay (by David McGillivray) is quite excellent, as is the photography .
Unfortunately, the print offered by IMAGE is produced from a well-worn original -the picture quality is marred by noticable fading in colour and "pitted" images, especially in the first several "reels".
As is standard with the EUROSHOCK COLLECTION, there are no extras. However, given the visceral substance of the film itself, the DVD is highly recommended to anyone seriously interested in the horror genre.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Giallo-style shocker rewards patience, December 5, 2001
This review is from: Schizo (DVD)
SCHIZO

(UK - 1976)

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Theatrical soundtrack: Mono

SCHIZO is a giallo-style shocker from British director Pete Walker (HOUSE OF WHIPCORD, FRIGHTMARE), which offers an appropriately convoluted plot allied to a series of brutal killings by person or persons unknown. The marriage of ice-skating star Samantha Gray (Lynne Frederick, from VAMPIRE CIRCUS) to Alan Falconer (former pop singer John Leyton) attracts the unwelcome attentions of a shadowy figure from Frederick's past, a convicted murderer (Jack Watson) recently paroled from prison. When his apparent stalking of Frederick prompts a series of vicious murders, old secrets begin tumbling into the light of day, culminating in all manner of bloodshed and mayhem...

Though SCHIZO is a little more conventional than Walker's previous outings ("It was less Gothique...I wanted less incident and outrage," he explained), it still manages to deliver the goods, even if it takes rather too long to work up a decent head of steam. Most of the shocks and scares are confined to the second half of the film, and while the steady accumulation of narrative details pays dividends in the end, individual scenes are somewhat labored, not helped by Frederick's lack of presence in the leading role. By contrast, Stephanie Beacham (DRACULA A.D. 1972, INSEMINOID) is effortlessly charming as a family friend who turns detective when Frederick identifies Watson as her stalker - had the roles been reversed, this could have been a small masterpiece of psychological horror. Other stand-outs include veteran character actor Watson (recognizable from brief appearances in countless British movies, here given a much weightier role than usual), and a bearded John Fraser (TUNES OF GLORY, THE TRIALS OF OSCAR WILDE) as a psychiatrist who pays the price for digging too deeply into the circumstances surrounding the death of Frederick's mother.

Walker was always aware of his limitations as a director, allowing clever scriptwork to dictate his method, but he was no hack, as SCHIZO ably demonstrates. Here, his point-and-shoot style is frequently punctuated by moments of genuine visual dexterity, such as the circling of a pen on a newspaper article which gives way via dissolve to a spinning ice-skater, or the truly unsettling seance towards the end of the film in which psychic Trisha Mortimer manifests physical signs of possession by one of the killer's former victims. The subsequent murders are blunt and bloody, with no pretence to subtlety. Peter Jessop's artful cinematography and Chris Burke's sensitive art direction makes a virtue of the film's slightly seedy locations, and while a good fifteen minutes could have been cut from the 109 minute running time, Alan Brett's keen editing skills manages to streamline an increasingly complicated scenario.

Sadly, this was Walker's last collaboration with writer David McGillivray, who had originally been assigned to overhaul an old unused script by Murray Smith (author of Walker's earlier films), but McGillivray felt that the killer's identity was too obvious from the outset. Maybe so, but viewers may still be taken off-guard by some of the climactic revelations. Bottom line: If you're a fan of Walker's output or British exploitation in general, you'll overlook the film's slow-burning tempo and enjoy its outlandish plot developments. Worth a look.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slasher/Giallo Offering from Great Britan, March 2, 2009
This review is from: Schizo (DVD)
Some movies get too much recognition while others don't get enough. "Schizo", falls into the latter category.

Released in 1976...sandwiched between "Black Christmas" [74]& Halloween [78]Regrettably, this film is constantly overlooked as a forerunner to the American Slasher. Not to mention, having Italian Giallo trademarks
as well.

Regarding it's slasher/gialli pedigree,it's all here. Red herrings, childhood trauma, sexual transgressions and of course the violent death scenes! The killings are all pretty brutal..one scene in particular is an inspired "Jason/Friday the 13th" piece of work...5 years ahead of the game, mind you.

Performances from all the leads whilst not outstanding are competent.
On the downside,"Schizo", has some moments where the pace could pick a bit but not to the point of total boredom.

"Schizo", is more than a "body count" film with senseless and endless annoying teenagers waiting to get offed. Hopefully, this film will one day receive the reappraisal it yearns for and deserves.

"Schizo" [1976]
Rated R
Running Time: 109 Minutes

Starring:
Lynne Frederick
John Leyton
Stephanie Beacham

Directed by
Pete Walker
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Schizo, August 10, 2010
This review is from: Schizo (DVD)
A beautiful young ice-skater is stalked by her mother's killer in the weeks following her wedding, but no one seems to believe her despite the number of bodies that begin piling up around her. Who is this crazed madman, and what does he want with Samantha all these years later? Pete Walker fashions another mean little Slasher film out of England while taking key notes from the popular Italian Gialli. Although it is well-played and stylishly directed, the slow pacing, cluttered plot, and predictable twists make this a pretty standard watch. Even still, the bloody payoff in the end comes as a complete shock. Walker slips in several other brutal murder sequences throughout the film while somehow managing to keep it off of the notorious "Video Nasties" list in the UK. With enough atmosphere, killing, and suspense to keep the average viewer's attention, SCHIZO proves to be another enjoyable entry in the early English Slasher cycle.

-Carl Manes
I Like Horror Movies
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Who Is Trying To Kill The Ice Queen?, March 31, 2008
By 
This review is from: Schizo (DVD)
"Schizo" is an English slasher flick starring Lynne Frederick of Lucio Fulci's "Four of the Apocalypse" and Stephanie Beacham of "And Now the Screaming Starts." Both young women are gorgeous and deliver incredible performances. Don't let appearances deceive you. This movie begins as an ordinary slasher flck but it has several twists and turns in it that will genuinely shock and surprise the viewer.

Frederick is an ice skating star who is engaged to be married. After her marriage, she learns that someone from her past has been paroled from prison and is stalking her. Soon, a person wearing black gloves begins savagely bludgeoning and stabbing her friends and acquaintances. Very similar to an Italian giallo, this suspenseful mystery has numerous elements from "Psycho." I only wish the body count had been higher and the ending had more closure.

Also, I loved the tagline on the DVD jacket: Schizophrenia . . . When the left hand doesn't know who the right hand is killing. It fits this stylish thriller perfectly.

Unfortunately, the DVD doesn't have any extra features. It doesn't even have a trailer. Perhaps Anchor Bay or Blue Underground will give it a better release than Image gave it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hearing Voices..., April 3, 2013
This review is from: Schizo: Remastered Edition (DVD)
Samantha Gray (Lynne Frederick) is a new bride. She should be enjoying her honeymoon. Instead, Samantha is being haunted by a figure from her past. Disturbing memories are also invading her life, causing great distress. Soon, Samantha's friends and loved ones begin dying in terrible ways! Director, Pete Walker (FRIGHTMARE, HOUSE OF WHIPCORD) has fashioned a cool, giallo-style thriller w/ a solid, twisty story. SCHIZO comes complete w/ the standard, black-gloved maniac, red herrings, and nudity. Enjoy...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hits it's mark from the start!, June 10, 2014
This review is from: Schizo: Remastered Edition [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I have a tiny bit of experience working with schizophrenic clients, and a lot if experience reading works of art and autobiography from borderline schizophrenics—and in the first few moments watching this film there's this juxtaposition of images:
The middle aged schizophrenic man arrives at his apartment, looks at the newspaper article that obviously has pushed his buttons: about a comely young figure skater—the "Ice Princess"—who is about to wed. The mam picks up a ballpoint pen and begins to draw first a circle around the beautiful girl's face, then a spiral moving ever inward, obscuring the face, defacing the face—and suddenly cross fade to live shot of the very girl's skates as they etch an inward tending spiral on the surface of the ice—and I thought: something true and important about schizophrenia, about imagination itself, has just been expressed here with a grace words alone are incapable of.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Roses are red, violets are blue. I'm schizophrenic, and so am I., November 26, 2013
This review is from: Schizo: Remastered Edition [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Schizo (Pete Walker, 1976)

I can't believe I'm the only person who saw the ending of Schizo coming less than five minutes into the movie. In the seventies (and, unfortunately, beyond), there was a tendency to conflate schizophrenia and what we now know as Dissociative Identity Disorder. (That whether DID even exists is still a controversy raging in psychology journals, as depicted in the recent Julianne Moore vehicle 6 Souls, is interesting, but ultimately irrelevant to the current discussion.) The film starts out with a voice-over about schizophrenia. Well, actually, it starts out with a voice-over about split personality (the seventies term for DID, back when the now-discredited Sybil was all the rage) that contains a few less-than-subtle clues about the Big Reveal at the end of the film. Within two sequences of its ending, I knew what that Big Reveal was going to be, and you probably will as well. Given that the movie is framed as a genre mystery, this does tend to curtail one's enjoyment.

Plot: Ice skating star Samantha (Phase IV beauty Lynne Frederick, who would appear in only two more feature films before retiring from the business in 1979, at the tender age of twenty-five) has just accepted a proposal of marriage from her beau Alan (John Leyton, in his last feature appearance until 2005's Color Me Kubrick), and the two couldn't be happier. Well, okay, maybe they could, because a long, long shadow from Samantha's past resurfaces at the nuptials: William Haskin (Peeping Tom's Jack Watson), sent to prison fifteen years earlier for murdering Samantha's mother, has been paroled, and it seems he's on the like mother, like daughter trip. Soon enough, people close to Samantha and Alan start turning up dead, including the playboy husband of Alan's close friend Beth (The Wolves of Willoughby Chase's Stephanie Beacham), who comes to stay with the couple after her spouse's gruesome demise. Ultimately, with Samantha paralyzed by Haskin's presence, it's Beth who is forced to try and stop Haskin from bumping off any more of their compatriots.

Co-writers David McGillivray (who, amusingly, would go on to write a critical history of British sex films soon after) and Murray Smith's decision halfway through the film to thrust Beth into the main role was a very good one; while Frederick is quite the beauty, and I doubt anyone is going to complain about the amount of time she spends unclothed in this film save those who say it's not nearly enough, Stephanie Beacham carries this film to the point where I was wishing they'd done it quite a bit before they actually did. (I should add that whenever I say something in this review about Beacham's strong performance, you should mentally append “except that hilarious final scene where she's waving and jumping like a madwoman”. It's embarrassingly hilarious.) It's also notable that it's once Beth starts looking into things, the film's base solidifies; it's been kind of a muddled mess up to that point, albeit one with some interesting foley work, but it's right then that the film's giallo-loving heart starts getting worn on its sleeve, and Schizo starts behaving like the stylish-yet-low-rent shocker that it's been trying to be all along. The problem is that by that point, the cat's been out of the bag for far too long, and many casual viewers will likely have lost interest in the story. Recommended for fans of British seventies thrillers, of course, and giallo fans will find some interest in the film's second half; Walker has internalized the conventions of giallo well, and once the film goes in that direction, it does so convincingly enough. But casual thriller fans are best avoiding it. **
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Schizo: Remastered Edition [Blu-ray]
Schizo: Remastered Edition [Blu-ray] by Pete Walker (Blu-ray - 2013)
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