Killing Obsession

December 29th, 2014 by Vomitron

Killing Obsession   Killing Obsession poster 01 67x120 thriller reviews reviews Director: Paul Leder
Writer: Paul Leder
Release Year: 1994
Benelux title: ‘A Killing Obsession’

A Fabulously Shitty Film!

Albert (John Savage) once killed the mother of a little teenage girl he was in love with. He spent half of his life behind the walls of a mental health institute because of this. Due to lack of funding, Albert is now pronounced cured and ready to enter society again. But of course Albert is still utterly insane, and very much ready to go on a killing spree to get to his beloved little Annie Smith (Kimberly Chase), with only the intelligible Dr. Sachs (John Saxon) determined to stop him.

Killing Obsession   Killing Obsession title screen 300x230 thriller reviews reviews

Really, I have to admit, one wonderfully flimsy effort, this sad piece of film, which in my country was released on DVD – yes, this, uhm, amazing work of cinema somehow found legit distribution on a shiny digital disc – under the title ‘A Killing Obsession’. And I might add that fans of John Savage and John Saxon will have some terrible fun with it (although I can’t guarantee you won’t shake your head in shame on several occasions). John Savage plays Albert, a mentally deranged thirty-something who spent most of his years in a mental health hospital. Released – as in: proclaimed “cured” – at the beginning of the story, because of the government cutting budgets, John Saxon repeats himself from the start to everyone (not) willing to listen that Albert is not sane after all and will kill again. And again. And again. Saxon is simply so funny, taking his role very serious while going through the motions (often also sporting tremendously over-sized glasses) while the film gets more ridiculous with every scene.

Killing Obsession   Killing Obsession John Saxon 300x230 thriller reviews reviews

But the real star of this show, of course, is John Savage. Within the first ten minutes, he already manages to stab two people to death, steal a whole bunch of cash and a getaway car. And he’s clearly not going to stop, because he’s got a killing obsession. We know from the get-go that he’s determined to find a certain Annie Smith, a girl he once sickly loved when she was a mere nubile teenager. The thought that she’s now a fully matured woman in her early thirties, doesn’t seem to cross his mind for one second.

Killing Obsession   Killing Obsession Savage knife 300x230 thriller reviews reviews

Then what does he do? He picks up a phone book and heads off to pay a visit to every single Annie Smith listed in it. So, this film is pretty much ‘Terminator’ with John Savage replacing Arnold Schwarzenegger. Or well, if you prefer, it’s also a rehash of ‘Halloween’ with John Saxon replacing Donald Pleasance. Anyway, yes, the ‘killing-by-phone-book’ method… As to be expected, this modus operandi will have Albert encountering many disappointments on his path, so he mostly ends up killing all the Annie Smiths that don’t fit the bill. I don’t think I’ve ever seen John Savage act so weird in a film before. He pulls off some exquisite berserk grimaces throughout the film and his dialogue mainly consists of repeating the lines “You are not my Annie” and “You’re a whore.”

Killing Obsession   Killing Obsession Savage berserk 300x230 thriller reviews reviews

While Savage is already on a roll within the first ten minutes of the film, we’re also treated to at least two women baring their breasts in the following twenty minutes (attractive leading lady Kimberly Chase included). And just like Albert, writer/director Paul Leder isn’t going to stop repeating this whole cocktail we’re treated to in the first act already. Plus, we get some ludicrous bonusses. For instance, the real Annie Smith (Kimberly Chase) is now a hot fashion photographer, whose well-payed assignments consist of nothing more than taking ‘sexy pictures’ all the time, because apparantly that’s what successful photographers did during the early ’90s.

Killing Obsession   Killing Obsession Kimberly Chase 300x230 thriller reviews reviews

Well that, and sleeping with much younger men. But never sex in the bed. No, because, you see, the real Annie Smith turns out to be quite bonkers too. She drags along a seriously demented childhood trauma as a direct result from Albert’s courting efforts back in the days. Just wait until she starts explaining it to both Dr. Sachs first and Albert later, and then proceeds to sing a song with the latter. And there’s even more about to happen: during the last twenty minutes or so, Albert suddenly decides to take the plot of the film into a different direction, leading us towards a laughably underwhelming finale.

Killing Obsession   Killing Obsession Sexy Annie Savage 300x230 thriller reviews reviews


By the way, this happens in the film, too…

Killing Obsession   Killing Obsession dream dance 300x231 thriller reviews reviews

Plain wrong, if you ask me.
Now, what’s wrong with an adult and a child doing a fairy tale dream dance, you may ask?
Let me just add that Albert plans to take little Annie to a hotel.
If you can’t see the very wrongness in that, I’m afraid you need to have your head examined.


Killing Obsession   Killing Obsession Dead Annie 300x230 thriller reviews reviews

Anyhow, let’s wrap it up. Add to all this some lousy sound design and incompetent audio recording (the cuts between scenes with phone calls on different locations will have you noticing zooming refrigerators all of the sudden, and other scenes feature annoyingly squeaky stairs or shuffling sofas). The cheap synthesizer score is an entertaining hoot as well and the cinematography and directing, while perhaps not the worst you’ll ever encounter, is as bland as it gets. But, surprisingly so, I would be lying if I’d say I didn’t have fun watching this preposterous attempt at a ‘psychological thriller’ (with shocks! and nudity!) for the various reasons mentioned above. So all you Savage & Saxon fans, get together one evening, order some pizzas and your favorite beverage of choice, press play on the remote and knock yourselves out.

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