Psycho from Texas (1975)

aka Wheeler
Article 5149 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 5-7-2016
Directed by Jack Collins and Jim Feazell
Featuring John King III, Herschel Mays, Tommy Lamey
Country: USA
What it is: Southern crime movie

A sadistic serial killer is hired to kidnap a retired oil baron for ransom. However, good help is hard to find…

If there’s any lesson to be learned from this movie, it’s that serial killers may not be the best people to hire for a job; instead of doing their job properly, they may leave the work in the hands of a dimwitted sidekick while they run off pursuing their hobby. But then, there’s another lesson to be gleaned from this; if you’re coming to town to take part in a kidnapping, you shouldn’t first introduce yourself to the kidnap victim, his daughter, and the local sheriff, especially if you find it necessary to kill the latter’s daughter before it’s all through. But I guess being a serial killer doesn’t necessarily mean you’re smart. For the most part, this is just a silly crime movie with a serial killer subplot, and since the most potentially exciting scene (the kidnap victim trying to escape from the stupid sidekick) is played for laughs (including encounters with skunks and hogs), it’s really hard to figure out just what effect the movie is going for. The editing is very clumsy when the movie tries to follow several story threads at once, the music is all over the board and not always right for the scene, and some of the scenes are downright embarrassing (such as when the black housemaid finds a dead body). The movie seems to be mostly remembered for featuring the debut of Linnea Quigley, who does a nude scene, but you might feel a bit queasy about it; she was born in 1958, and if you consider the year of this movie… well, I’ll let you do the math. However, not to worry – It looks like the Quigley sequence was added to the movie in 1979, four years after the rest of the movie was made.


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