Johnny Legend Presents The Sadist
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Three people stopping at a deserted desert gas station are taken hostage and terrorized by psychopathic thrill-killer Charles A. Tibbs (Arch Hall Jr.) and his mute girlfriend Judy (Marilyn Manning). Hall shatters all previous conceptions as a giggling psychotic punk, creating one of the nastiest nutcases in screen history. First rate photography by Vilmos (Close Encounters) Zsigmond.
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About the film: Charles A. 'Charlie' Tibbs (Arch Hall Jr.) is a murderous delinquent aided by his juvenile girlfriend Judy Bradshaw (Marilyn Manning). Charles and Judy are on the run after killing several people. Our story focuses on the murderous duo and how they held three innocent people hostage (killing two of them).
I must say I despised Charles and Judy from the time we are introduced to them until the end of the film. I'm sorry I wanted these two murderers bumped off right from the get-go. They are irritating and obnoxious - in particular Charles! All I can say the film is good, thrilling but had me talking to the screen at the innocent characters - "No don't do that!" "Do this instead." lol. Yes it is that type of film - you want the innocent to survive and the "bad guys" dead.
From beginning to end...Ultra-Violent and Shocking!
The 1:66.1 widescreen presentation and film print are excellent, includes an interview with Arch Hall Jr. by Ray Dennis Steckler, and theatrical trailers.
Marilyn Manning as Judy Bradshaw, Tibbs' girlfriend, is underplayed very well, and adds contrast and balance to Tibbs.
I can't add anything more than what's already been covered here review wise, but suffice to say if you've seen "The Thrill Killers", and "Faster, Pussycat! KILL! KILL!, you won't be disappointed.
Second best DVD choice would be the Alpha Video release, as it's cheaper and easier to obtain.
Rubber-faced Arch Hall Jr. and his child bride menace some innocent travelers unfortunate enough to cross paths with them. Loosely based on the adventures of real-life spree killer Charles Starkweather. A shame that Charlie did not live long enough to see Archie's masterful performance.
They did not use experienced actors and sometimes it shows. But all the actors work hard (whether they are experienced or not) and take their roles very seriously and for the most part are not bad at all!
The plot - Three schoolteachers drive into a filling station and end up being tormented by a psychopath and his addlebrained girlfriend. That's it.
More entertaining then "Bad Lands" and much more watchable then "Natural Born Killers"! More memorable then both. The non-actor Arch Hall Jr. out-shines and out-psychos Martin Sheen and Woody Harrelson in the same role and makes them both look tame.
Hall Jr. could have made an entire career out of playing this psycho. He looks and acts like the murdering animal he is accused of - with his low forehead and thick features and crab walk - he is a Neanderthal in blue jeans - ugly, over bearing selfish, mean, and without conscious. He even lets out animal-like howls when cornered or hurt. But he is not totally one dimensional - he is often clever in out-thinking his victims - there are hints of indignation involving his past and he seems to justify his killing spree as a vendetta that is resentment over society's treatment of his almost mute girlfriend Judy, "You can save your pity on her for mister her fathers dead and mothers a drunk." "Teachers always laughed at Judy and said was stupid"
This film has super black and white photography by A-movie cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond.
Great soundtrack music during the opening credits with crazy eyes staring at the audience. Really sets the mood.
There's Alfred Hitchcock-like suspense culminating in a very lively "Most Dangerous Game" chase.
Special note - the beautiful Helen Hovey is awesome going from the ultra demure, and naive stick in the mud Doris to taking a face full of dirt and then to a "Fay Rae style" hunted prey during the last reel of the film. -And no stunt double. The denouement where Helen pauses to listen to a baseball game is a hoot.
Fun, tense, engrossing, crazy, darkly funny, violent and suspenseful from beginning to end. You will find yourself yelling at the characters.
If you are the kind who's tastes are for the likes of Jack Hill's Spider Baby, Edward Ulmer's Detour or the Alfred Hitchcock hour - you will love The Sadist.
There are many inexpensive DVD versions of The Sadist out there - such as the one by Alpha Video. I have seen Alpha's and some of the others - All those that I have seen appear to be from ratty tenth generation film stock.
I only recommend the near perfect print from All Day Entertainment! For some dumb reason they stopped selling this version on Amazon. But you can still order it at the All Day site. And I do not work for All Day Entertainment! All Day's has a real cool cover too.