It’s a double feature of pretty women falling victim to psychotic, artistic men as I take on Playgirl Killer and Double Exposure.
PLAYGIRL KILLER (1967)
I had to revisit this one because it was an oldie I watched on TV with my mom in the 1970s and remembered only two things about it—Neil Sedaka’s small role that includes performing an entire song, and the big body reveal scene.
Watching again I see why I didn’t remember much. It’s fairly boring until the macabre final act, and it also doesn’t have a main girl.
It’s one of those films in which the protagonist is the killer, making it hard to be scared for the poor women he murders since we know what’s about to happen each time and exactly when it’s going to happen.
The killer is an artist inspired by a dream he’s trying to recreate on a canvas.
But every damn woman that models for him moves while posing, ruining his work and pushing him to kill his subject.
Conveniently he takes a job as a handyman for a rich woman, and easy women just keep showing up at her door for him to seduce and kill.
The kills are tame, and the jazzy score is horribly 1960s. But the last few scenes deliver some good horror moments (for its day), and the zinger ending is delicious.
I do think this could easily have been compressed into a 30-minute episode of Tales from the Crypt and been better paced and more effective. The mere fact that there are two more full songs performed by other artists tells you all you need to know about the excess padding to make this an 85-minute movie.
DOUBLE EXPOSURE (1982)
Double Exposure is like The Eyes of Laura Mars with a male lead (The Eyes of Larry Mars?). It opens with a streetwalker being followed by killer POV (ah, the innocence of 80s horror) before being stabbed. There’s even a little surprise at the end of the scene.
Our main photographer is oddly intimate with his brother, who is missing a couple of limbs…
And yet, they make derogatory comments towards a gay guy that enters his trailer home.
Not surprisingly, considering the year the movie came out, this gay guy isn’t treated well by anyone. But he self-identifies as a perfectly normal gay person and comes right back at the homophobes. Awesome.
The film has some nice and sleazy kills with female nudity as the photographer has one nightmare after another about killing sexy women, often in unique ways. But it’s not all just in his dreamland, because women are actually getting killed and there are detectives on the case.
There’s also an exploitative scene in which the brother mud wrestles with a woman in a bikini at a Chippendales type club. Again…ah, the innocence of 80s horror.
And I do believe that’s Nick the Dick from Bachelor Party…
Unfortunately, the movie begins to drag for a while before we finally discover if the photographer is just dreaming or if he’s really a killer.