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Image Entertainment presents
Schizo (1976)

"Schizophrenia. A mental disorder sometimes known as multiple or split personality. Characterized by loss of touch with environment and alternation between violent and contrasting behavior patterns."
- Opening narration

Review By: Rich Rosell   
Published: December 07, 2001

Stars: Lynne Frederick, John Leyton
Other Stars: Stephanie Beacham, John Fraser
Director: Pete Walker

MPAA Rating: R for (Violence, nudity and sexuality)
Run Time: 01h:48m:59s
Release Date: October 02, 2001
UPC: 014381934724
Genre: horror


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
C- D+DC+ D-

DVD Review

British gore director Pete Walker's (Frightmare) 1976 Schizo is a good example of a film that shoots itself in the foot before it even begins. The very title brings up the subject of split personalities, and the opening credits narration hammers it home. Those two facts severely limit the impact of what could have been a decent B-movie by revealing key plot points that diminish the twisty script long before the start of the first act.

Newspapers announce that sexy ice skater Samantha (Lynne Frederick) is set to wed a wealthy weaver(!), which prompts William Haskin, a creepy character from her past, to begin invasively stalking the pair. The stalker, who resembles an unkempt James Cromwell, spends a lot of time lurking in the shadows, leaving bloody knives and making harassing phone calls to the ice skater. Samantha is convinced she is losing her mind, and she desperately tries to convince her bone-headed husband and her best friend that a killer is after her, but of course no one believes her. Their kindly housekeeper, who happens to be a member of something called The Psychic Brotherhood, realizes there are darker forces at work and urges Samantha to seek help from her frumpy daughter who has the ability to channel spirits.

For a alleged gore film, there are relatively few scenes with any significant bloodshed. Done in the days just before the slasher genre exploded, Schizo offers up a few quickly edited murders that ironically seem a little out of place in a film that wants to be more of a psychological thriller. The David McGillivray screenplay, which does have some decent moments of creepiness, loses some of it's overall impact just due to the title and opening narration alone. The obligatory red herrings abound here, but there isn't much that comes as a surprise. With slightly overlong runtime, the film gets a little mired down in predictability by the final act, and by then the supposed shocker ending has been hinted at loud and clear. Lynne Frederick does the tormented woman act well enough, but never really manages to be much more that just a pretty face who takes a lot of showers and sleeps in the nude.

Walker's direction here is pretty much by the book, and not at all representative of his best work. I suggest you try and find a copy of Walker's much better gore classic The Flesh And Blood Show instead.

Rating for Style: C-
Rating for Substance: D+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: The transfer for Schizo is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen print. That's the extent of the good news, however. The print is plagued by a constant stream of red dots and white specks throughout the entire film. Color levels fluctuate, and tend to flicker a bit at times. Shadow depth is minimal, which turns some of the night sequences into undecipherable messes.

Image Transfer Grade: D

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglishno


Audio Transfer Review: A perfectly serviceable mono track is the sole option here. Nothing flashy, and nothing particularly horrendous. Dialogue and the eerie score sound adequate, without any significant hiss.

Audio Transfer Grade: C+

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 14 cues and remote access
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: No extras at all, except for 14 chapter stops.

Extras Grade: D-

 

Final Comments

Schizo is a relatively suspenseless gore film that doesn't contain much gore.

 


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