Death to Sister Mary (1974)

aka Murder is a One-Act Play
Article 3312 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 7-23-2010
Posting Date: 9-8-2010
Directed by Robert D. Cardona
Featuring Robert Powell, Jennie Linden, George Maharis
Country: UK
What it is: “Thriller” episode with psycho killer

The actress playing Sister Mary in the TV show “Saints and Sinners” discovers that a man has organized a fan club for her character. However, this fan has trouble separating her TV persona from her real-life identity… and he’ll resort to drastic means to keep her character safe and his illusions intact.

I believe this is the fourth time I’ve covered what amounts to an episode of the British TV series “Thriller”. I don’t recall having cared for the others I’ve seen, but I quite like this one, mainly because I find the nature of the psycho’s illness here pretty interesting, and I like the performance by Robert Powell in the role, as he plays him not as a sadistic fiend, but as an almost fragile man whose illusion may be the only thing holding him together. Certain touches are particularly telling; when he almost fatally injures a cast member and then discovers that the TV show has Sister Mary distraught over the character’s disappearance, his remorse is very telling. I’m not sure I buy what the psycho’s final solution to his problem turns out to be, but the show sells it well enough that it satisfied me. In short, this makes for one of the more offbeat psycho killer movies I’ve seen to date, even if it is technically an episode of a TV show.

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