The Plumber (1979)

Article 5126 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 4-7-2016
Directed by Peter Weir
Featuring Judy Morris, Ivar Kants, Robert Coleby
Country: Australia
What it is: TV-Movie thriller

A housewife’s life is upended when an eccentric, intrusive plumber shows up at her apartment to work on the plumbing.

I’ve never been keen on the “psycho terrorizing people in their own homes” movies, but the presence of Peter Weir, who gave us PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK and THE LAST WAVE, gave me reason to hope that this one would prove a little different. Sure enough, it is; in fact, I’m not even sure it’s genre. IMDB classifies it as a horror thriller, but I think it’s far more accurate to call it a psychological black comedy. The plumber is certainly not a psycho in the classic horror sense; he’s much more neurotic than psychotic, and any terror he inflicts is more in the social than physical sense. If it’s a horror movie at all, it’s in the metaphorical sense, though it does share with certain horror movies the theme of how stress can drive a person to perform acts that would be beyond the pale. It wasn’t as strong as Weir’s other movies that I’ve seen, but it is quite interesting. It’s just better not to go in expecting a horror movie.


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