Experiment in Terror

Nashville Scene

DIRECTED BY: Blake Edwards

REVIEWED: 11-03-97

With invasion a nationwide threat, 1962 brought two memorably grim thrillers about families under attack: the brutal Cape Fear, and this lesser-known suspenser, which is just as shocking and queasily erotic. Bank clerk Lee Remick is stalked by a psycho (The Wild Wild West's Ross Martin, a vile villain) who wants her to embezzle a small fortune. Just to make sure she follows through, he singles out a target for terror--Remick's teenage sister Stefanie Powers. Director Blake Edwards made his rep as a farceur, but the way he plays Martin's leering menace against Powers' nubile vulnerability makes your skin crawl. Bonus: a Henry Mancini score that's all jazzy aggression.

--Jim Ridley

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