I had requested Laszlo Benedek's insane psychological thriller from Sweden The Night Visitor (Papegojan, 1971), but what I got was Rupert Hitzig's ultra-cheapo Night Visitor (1989). Despite the disappointment, I had some hopes for this being an effective if seedy little film, because some of the support cast has sometimes proven to possess considerable appeal.
Rubber-faced Michael Pollard is half of a psycho killer brothers team & I've always loved Michael Pollard. Also tucked about in the cast one will spot Richard "Shaft" Roundtree as the police captain; Henry "Laugh-in" Gibson as the police psychiatrist; & Elliott "M.A.S.H." Gould shows up late in the story as the film's only nice adult. The alleged "stars" of this show are young nobodies & apparently the aged support cast just needed the work.
Whatever moments of entertainment it does drum up are thanks to Pollard as Stanley, but in the main, nothing can save this turd. It starts off with the "teaser" of psychos killing a hooker, then cuts to a highschool to introduce us to standard issue young people (though not young enough to convincingly play high school students).
Totally bad acting stretches the film out for a while, as we wait for the advertised horror to begin. A momentary cut to another hooker slaying then back to the boring teenagers doesn't help much.
We're supposed to care about Billy (Derek Rydall) the school fuck-up who the teacher Mr. Willard (Allan Garfield) hates & harrasses. I did agree with the subtextual "message" imbedded in this, that when a kid in school seems to be in a lot of trouble all the time, it's often enough because teachers are dickwads whereas the kids are all right.
Eventually Michael Pollard's smarter brother is revealed & from then on the connection between killers & students is made. The satan-worshipping brothers don't kill all their victims right away, but like to keep a hooker in the basement until she's worn out & dead, then they'll kidnap another. They address their captive always as "furniture."
Billy is a peeping tom way intrigued by his neighbor, a call girl (Shannon Tweed). Due to Billy's deviant behavior, he becomes witness to his neighbor's murder while she's turning a trick. When Billy realizes who is the psychopath, attention moves away from hooker killing to a big threat for the students.
The film is about as ineffective as psycho horror ever gets. It climaxes in some of the worst imaginable fight choreography. Even in the world of direct-to-video it's hard to believe how totally void of entertainment value Night Visitor turned out to be. And as a capper for the crapper, as the end-credits roll, John Leffler sings the worst theme song I've heard in a movie for a long, long time.
copyright © by Paghat the Ratgirl