HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Flamingo Kid, The
Queen, The
Avengers: Endgame
Vanishing Act
Critters Attack!
Prison on Fire
Dragged Across Concrete
Do the Right Thing
Hellboy
Pond Life
Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, The
Third Wife, The
Shazam!
Follow Me
Leto
Fugitive Girls
Missing Link
Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, The
Pet Sematary
Oh... Rosalinda!!
Dumbo
Kaleidoscope
Night Is Short, Walk On Girl
Knight of Shadows: Between Yin and Yang, The
Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich
Klute
Meow
Killer Crocodile
Nutcracker Prince, The
Secret World of Og, The
Benjamin
Fifth Cord, The
Man Could Get Killed, A
Cyborg 009: Kaiju War
Heavy Trip
Nightmare Weekend
Blue Ice
Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday, The
Incident, The
Hell's Angels
   
 
Newest Articles
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
Things Have Changed: Films You'd Be Insane to Make Now
The Hole in the Ground: Director Lee Cronin Interview
She's Missing: Director Alexandra McGuinness Interview
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
   
 
  Twisted Nerve Let's PretendBuy this film here.
Year: 1968
Director: Roy Boulting
Stars: Hayley Mills, Hywel Bennett, Billie Whitelaw, Phyllis Calvert, Frank Finlay, Barry Foster, Salmaan Peerzada, Thorley Walters, Christian Roberts, Timothy West, Gretchen Franklin, Clifford Cox, Timothy Bateson, Michael Cadman, Barrie Dignam, Mollie Maureen
Genre: Thriller
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Today, as he often does, rich kid Martin Durnley (Hywel Bennett) is visiting his brother, who due to being afflicted with Down's Syndrome stays in a special home. As he chats with the doctor in charge, mention is made of possible psychopathic tendencies in the siblings of those who are so afflicted, and Martin drops his cup of tea in an unconscious gesture. This is because he does have such leanings, as can be seen when he goes to a department store and shoplifts a toy duck, which the store detectives blame on him and innocent stranger Susan (Hayley Mills), believing them to be accomplices. Susan manages to persuade them otherwise, but Martin has a trick up his sleeve: he pretends to be simple-minded to charm his way out of the situation, a ruse that he follows when he tries to get to know Susan better...

The late sixties were a funny time for cinema as filmmakers attempted to cater for more adult audiences in more self-consciously daring ways; by the seventies many of them had the hang of it, but before then audiences were treated, if that's the right word, to bizarre efforts like this one from the celebrated British team of the Boulting Brothers. Obviously patterning themselves after Alfred Hitchcock, it's the whistly Bernard Hermann theme that is most recognisable about the project today, as it was used prominently on Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill soundtrack. That said, there was a measure of notoriety about the film in its day.

This was because of the flimsy excuses the psychopath has for acting as he does. It's absurd to say that the villain's mental unbalance was explained by him being a brother of a Down's Syndrome boy, yet that's what a doctor proposes later on in the film, and understandably there was much protest from those who knew better. For this reason the film starts off with a tacked-on voiceover telling us that basically the science of the story you're about to watch is bullshit, only he puts it in more sensitive terms, which is more than the rest of the tale affords us. We can blame scriptwriters Leo Marks (of Peeping Tom infamy - he couldn't half pick them) and Roy Boulting, the director, working from a story by Roger Marshall for all this.

If you succeed in forgetting the ridiculousness of the premise, then there are compensations. Bennett's Martin is unnerving in the manner he worms his way into librarian Susan's life, using the name Georgie and keeping up his charade to insane lengths, even to the point of moving into the boarding house that she shares with her mother (Billie Whitelaw). Mills is her usual wholesome self, whose well meaning character's nature is exploited, only beginning to cotton on to what's really going on when Georgie forces a kiss on her. Meanwhile, his overbearing stepfather (Frank Finlay) is trying to send him off to Australia, but he has other ideas, ideas involving a sharp pair of scissors. As a thriller, Twisted Nerve's bad taste and committed central performance carry it some of the way, but its determination to shock in a modern style leaves it looking pretty silly decades later. Not that it was particularly sensible back then.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4295 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Darren Jones
   

 

Last Updated: