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  Scissors Locked Room Mystery
Year: 1991
Director: Frank De Felitta
Stars: Sharon Stone, Steve Railsback, Ronny Cox, Michelle Phillips, Vicki Frederick, Larry Moss, Austin Kelly, Jesse Garcia, Will Leskin, Ivy Jones, Laura Caulfield, Ed Crick, Hal Riddle, Ivy Bethune, Jim Shankman, Mary Reynard, George Fisher, Albert Popwell
Genre: Horror, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Angie Anderson (Sharon Stone) is a mentally fragile woman who has never been in a relationship with a man since she cannot bear to be touched, so loses herself in repairing dolls she finds in second hand shops while she waits to hear if there are any jobs she's eligible for on the horizon. However, on the way home one day she goes into the elevator of her apartment building and is suddenly attacked by the man who gets in with her, attempting to rape her until she has the presence of mind in the panic to stab him with the large pair of scissors she has just bought...

Based on a story by respected Hollywood talent spotter Joyce Selznick, this was the last film, television or otherwise, of popular horror author Frank De Felitta, and though it had nowhere near the impact of The Entity or Dark Night of the Scarecrow for that matter, it does have a few fans who appreciate its twists and turns. Many saw it as a return to the nineteen-sixties horror-themed thrillers which relied so heavily on surprising the audience, and it was true that this would have fit in quite snugly with any number of those Psycho-inspired imitations, but once we had a lengthy setting up of plot and all important red herrings out of the way, what this looked like more than anything was the type of scenario Mrs Peel would be forced to negotiate in an episode of The Avengers.

Up to the main selling point where Angie is trapped in a loft apartment, we were fed a lot of plot strands which detailed her recovery from her attack, including seeing psychiatrist Ronny Cox who at times sounds as if it should be him and not her on the couch. But mostly it was that loveable duo the Railsback twins who concerned Angie, for Steve Railsback, thanks to the wonder of special effects, portrayed two brothers living nearby in the same building. The nice one, Alex, is the chap who finds her in the elevator and calls the police, and makes moves towards beginning a romance with her; the nasty one, Cole, on the other hand spies on her, uses a wheelchair he might not actually need and paints a picture of Angie being attacked for reasons best known to himself.

It should be noted that this was a film about Angie Anderson and not Angry Anderson, the bloke who sang Suddenly on Australian soap opera Neighbours and was continually blown up at the end of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, just to clear that up. Although Angie finds herself in an equally dangerous position when she goes for a job interview and has to wait around for her prospective employer in that loft space, except here's where it gets interesting after all those psychothriller clich├ęs as she ends up trapped in the place. Thus Angie has to find a way out, an especially imperative state of affairs when she doesn't have any food or water - and the dead body of the man who apparently tried to rape her is lying in the bedroom with that pair of scissors sticking out of his back. Throw in reinforced windows, a false doorknob, a doll which can speak to her, and a raven in a birdcage which accuses "You killed him" over and over, and you had a not half bad item of strangeness somewhat marooned in by the numbers surroundings. Stone fans would be satisfied, at least: the next year she would briefly turn superstar with Basic Instinct. Music by Alfi Kabiljo.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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