Seizure (1974)

SEIZURE (1974)
Article 3659 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-6-2011
Posting Date: 8-21-2011
Directed by Oliver Stone
Featuring Jonathan Frid, Martine Beswick, Joseph Sirola
Country: Canada / USA
What it is: One man’s nightmare

A horror writer discovers that three of his creations have come to vivid life… and are holding him, his family and some houseguests as prisoners with the intent of leaving only one of them alive.

Ever wonder who would win in a battle to the death between Jonathan Frid and Mary Woronov? Or who would win in a battle between Jonathan Frid and Herve Villichaize? Well, this movie gives us a chance to see how Oliver Stone sees these battles playing out; it was his first full-length movie as a director and a writer. I’ve heard it described as incoherent, but once you realize that the nightmarish scenario is really only directed at a single person, the movie doesn’t seem quite that impenetrable. The cast also features Martine Beswick as the Queen of Evil and Troy Donahue as one of the guests, but the performance I liked best came from the lesser-known Roger De Koven, whose philosophical musings on the situation at hand really give the movie some depth; my favorite scene has him discussing the nature of the three evil menaces (a sinister midget, a beautiful but deadly woman and a large black executioner) in terms of their historical sources. The movie isn’t great, but it’s got some interesting touches, and it’s nice to see that Stone tried at least a little to alleviate the groan factor of a cliched ending that I saw coming at about the halfway point in the movie; after all, once you figure out what it is, you have a really good idea where it’s going.

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