Synopsis by Cavett Binion
Though scripted by Psycho author Robert Bloch, this is neither a sequel nor a variant on the Alfred Hitchcock classic. Instead, we are presented with a more subdued British version of an Italian "giallo" thriller, as interpreted by acclaimed director Freddie Francis. The plot involves a pattern of grisly murders whose perpetrator leaves a small doll by the body of each victim. The plot thickens as police eventually link each of the victims to the lost fortune of a German tycoon, whose dirty business dealings were uncovered shortly after World War II; what seems at first to be the work of a single revenge-minded maniac hints at a wider-reaching and more devious plot. Bloch's script, though lean and filled with surprises, is a bit too overloaded with manipulative twists, red herrings, and futile attempts to outdo Psycho's manic intensity, but Francis still builds sufficient momentum to keep viewers on the edge of their seats.
doll, serial-killer, mother, multiple-murder, son, daughter, handicap, husband, investigation, maniac, murder, police-inspector, wheelchair, widow/widower, conviction, industrialist, questioning [police interrogation]