Lurkers (1988)

Genres - Drama, Mystery  |   Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Fred Beldin

Roberta Findlay's paranoid occult thriller Lurkers is one of her most incoherent productions, a strong statement for a director whose output has included mind-boggling oddities like Prime Evil, The Altar of Lust, and Snuff. Written by the same team that penned the witless Prime Evil, Lurkers seems to make up its plot as it goes along, leading to a "chilling" conclusion that explains nothing. However, this is one bargain-basement exploitation number that never gets boring, so thick and fast do the logical gaffes hurtle past the viewer. Lurkers is the saga of a young concert violist orphaned by violence whose plans to marry her boyfriend are interrupted by hallucinations and deceiving surfaces. Strong images include young girls strangling each other with jump-ropes, a geriatric swing party, and a skull-smashing sledgehammer attack. Nude models trade stock market tips, deformed ghosts float by from time to time, and the heroine's priest brother is no help at all. The cast is strangely unattractive, due in large part to their unflattering 1980s vintage haircuts and shoulder pads. Findlay's movies are derided by most viewers as aggressively amateurish, but Lurkers is energetic enough to consistently baffle, if not entertain. Co-writer Ed Kelleher worked with Findlay's former husband and creative partner Michael on a pair of brilliantly moronic drive-in horrors in the early '70s, Shriek of the Mutilated and Invasion of the Blood Farmers.