Lady, Stay Dead (1981)

LADY, STAY DEAD (1981)
Article 4600 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 8-6-2014
Directed by Terry Bourke
Featuring Chard Hayward, Louise Howitt, Deborah Coulls
Country: Australia
What it is: Psycho killer movie

A gardener is sexually obsessed with a movie star for whom he works. When he manages to find her alone, he rapes and murders her. When the star’s sister shows up unexpectedly, he must kill her to cover up his crime.

Those who are drawn to this movie for its sleaze factor will probably prefer the first half of the movie, which is where the rape scene and all the nudity can be found. Those who are more interested in the horror/thriller aspects of the movie will probably prefer the final half of the movie, where the gardener lays siege to the sister. However, those hoping for a credible, believable movie will come up short-handed. One problem I have is that the gardener never becomes a consistent character; he seems confidently in control at certain times, comes across as mentally deficient at others, and essentially bends to the winds of whatever is convenient for the story, whether it’s right for the character or not. I also wonder why the police (who let us know that they know about the gardener and imply that he’s responsible for other crimes) were letting this guy run wild in the first place. I also get quite annoyed at the stupidity of the sister, who responds to the siege of the gardener by screaming, blubbering, and doing practically everything she can to make sure the gardener knows just where she is at any given moment. I’ve probably said this before, but I always find it a lot scarier when someone who is doing their level best to deal with an attacker nevertheless remains in danger than I do when someone just makes themselves a sitting duck.

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