Synopsis by Cavett Binion
This interesting, surreal character study grounds its tale of an average guy's speedy descent into madness and violence by drawing parallels to the 1984 McDonald's massacre in San Diego. Circumstance seems to have a beef with poor Harry Curtis (Raymond Elemendorf), who loses his wife and job then gets thrown in jail, all in a short span of time. With no one to lend a helping hand or a sympathetic ear, Harry is forced to take up residence in an abandoned hotel, where he promptly begins to lose his marbles, talking at length to his teddy bear (who talks back) and befriending the ghost of the hotel's nutty former bellhop. As the lines between reality and hallucination break down, it's only a matter of time before Harry's overwhelming paranoia leads him to pick up an Uzi for the violent climax. Despite the jarring impact of this uncomfortably-real denouement after a loopy 80 minutes of inspired lunacy, this is a well-crafted effort, featuring a script from Johnny Guitar writer Philip Yordan (with strong overtones of Roman Polanski's The Tenant) and a multi-layered performance from Elemendorf.
caretaker [custodian], hotel, craziness, madness, sanity, breaking-point, mental-breakdown, mental-illness, reality, vision [mystical], bellhop, brother, fantasy, ghost, mass-murder, teddy-bear, auto-repair, marital-problems, mechanic