ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Twisted (1986)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Adam Holender

Starring:
Christian Slater/Mark
Lois Smith/Helen
Tandy Cronyn/Evelyn
Dan Ziskie/Phillip
5 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
Rich psycho brat Mark (Slater) is getting a new babysitter (Smith) for the night. Having killed his nanny earlier on, he doesn’t think she’ll be much of a match. What he doesn’t know is that the new sitter just got out of the nuthouse herself. War?
THE LOWDOWN
You won't find this flick on most of Christian Slater’s filmographies but it does exist. Twisted is a very flawed but still somewhat entertaining little ditty. Apart from being a curiosity item (seeing pre-fame Slater chew the scenery) it’s also a psycho flick with a weird structure.

To be honest, the scariest thing in this movie is the behavior of the rich snotty people. Not only do they ignore the concept of parenting all together, they also lie, cheat and ask for help when a bottle of ketchup falls on the floor. This flick does not paint the rich in a very flattering way. What a bunch of pretentious idiots!

I assume that Slater’s character lost his marbles due to his f**ked up parents. He’s not all there, that’s fer sure. He has a WW2 fetish, loves Hitler speeches, has the house bugged (listens in with headphones) and has a thing for killing cats. Slater’s character is definitely interesting (mix of his characters from Heathers and Pump Up The Volume) but it's too bad that they don’t do enough with him. The movie bogs all the fun stuff down with too much talk, a long buildup (especially developing Helen), a bully subplot that’s way too extensive (what was that fake shower scare all about?) and way too many insert shots of the party the parents are attending. I didn’t care about all that shite! I wanted to see Slater go Myers on everybody!

The movie does kick into middle gear when Helen arrives at the house and meets Mark. The battle of wits between the two is gnarly but again, isn’t all it should have been. The movie holds back and doesn’t make full use of the situation. Yes, a few nasty bits pop up (meow), Slater uses the little sister as a pawn and it’s all kind of amusing, but the end result left me a tad unsatisfied. The way it caps off is very anti-climatic (and kind of cheap). NOTE: The bully didn’t get it as hard as he should have either. I would have chopped his damn head off!

I feel that somewhere in there the director tried to deliver a message (the last frame reinforces that theory…WTF?). But instead of doing a social commentary on parenting, the rich and bad behavior, he should of concentrated more on serving up some suspense, chills and way more cruel stuff. The characters are there but the story doesn’t do them justice. I should have written Twisted…
GORE
A cat’s paw in a mousetrap, some extra light blood and one disturbing act of violence (it's implied and not shown but it still hit me). The cook should have put more sauce on this dish though…
ACTING
Young Christian Slater (Mark) handles his part very well. He does the psycho thang that served him well when fame came knocking at the door (Heathers anyone?). Slater is the strongest point of the film. Lois Smith (Helen) also delivers the goods. She plays off Slater perfectly and has no trouble conveying all emotions. The same cannot be said about Tandy Cronyn (Evelyn). She does bitch well but her acting is sometimes off. Dan Ziskie (Phillip) looks like this film is the last place he wants to be. He walks through it. Brooke Tracy (Susan) does an admirable job. She’s just a kid but manages to keep a straight face. I bought her performance.
T & A
In this movie people have sex under the covers. How about turning up the heat and showing something, godammit!!!
DIRECTING
Holender slapped all the style in the opening credits (still shots, slow–mo, filters) and filmed the rest of the film in a very bland way. Yes, he pulls a few Halloween shots (Slater’s face appearing in a window when someone closes the light) but doesn’t come close to living up to the first five minutes. Asleep at the wheel, dude?
SOUNDTRACK
At first, I dug the score...it wuz offbeat and creepy. But it went overboard big time towards the middle part of the film turning serious scenes into funny shite.
BOTTOM LINE
The film isn’t a waste of time but it could have been so much more. Slater going coo-coo is groovy to watch and I’m happy I saw the film. Unfortunately, I will probably forget it by the time I finish this review. If you’re going to set up a bleak/violent situation then go all the way with it! This one is wearing kid’s gloves. Twisted should have been…well…more twisted.
BULL'S EYE
Adam Holender is a cinematographer first. He worked on 8 Heads In A Duffel Bag with Joe Pesci.

Tandy Cronyn is the daughter of Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy.

This movie took five years to be released. You guessed it...Slater’s fame is what prompted the move.

The film was shot in Danbury, Connecticut.
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