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Quick Reviews:

"Point of Terror" (1971)

Point of Terror (1971)-  This movie was incorrectly marketed as a "horror" movie and is still mispackaged as a "horror" movie on the home video market.  There is really nothing "horror" about it.  It's a drama movie, definitely a crime story.  Only the ending has anything that remotely implies to the supernatural.


    Tony Trelos is a struggling nightclub singer.  The movie opens with Tony screaming after seeing frightening images of things, including his own death, in his dreams while at the beach.  He is then approached by a very attractive, slightly older woman by the name of Andrea Hilliard.  Tony is already betrothed to another, but he flirts with the buxom blonde and invites her to see him at the nightclub.  He soon learns, however, that Andrea is the new, active president of National Records, a major record company.  Andrea took over the business from her invalid husband, Martin.  Tony decides to put the make on Andrea in order to land a recording contract.  The two have quite a torrid love affair and before you know it, Tony's in the studio recording a single for major release.

    What Tony doesn't realize is that Andrea's crazy.  She's an alcoholic, and a druggie, and a nymphomaniac.  Andrea's also in love with money and the finer things in life.  She and her husband hold a deep hatred for each other, especially since his accident as he can't "perform" in the bedroom.  Martin is extremely jealous of her relationship with Tony.  A big fight ensues, and Andrea drowns Martin in the swimming pool.

    At the funeral, Tony meets Martin's estranged daughter from his first marriage.  The singer falls madly in love with the beautiful blonde Helayne, who is probably about 19 or 20.  Martin's millions are now shared 50/50 between the two sexy blondes: Helayne and Andrea.  Tony decides to play off both cuties.  The handsome plaything proposes to Andrea for a quick, 15-minute wedding in Tijuana.  Andrea refuses, knowing that Tony is only interested in the money.  Their romantic relationship ends very ugly, and Andrea goes out of town for awhile.

    In only a few short weeks, Tony exclusively pursues Helayne.  Helayne is young and inexperienced in the ways of love, and really doesn't see what Tony is up to.  A change soon comes over Tony.  At first, it was all about the money; he then realizes that he truly loves Helayne.  Meanwhile, Tony ignores his neglected girlfriend, Sally, who tells him she's pregnant.  Tony and Helayne go to Tijuana and are quickly wed.  Tony and bride come back to Martin's house for their honeymoon.  Andrea returns to the homestead in the middle of the night.

    Tony encounters Andrea and tells her about being wed to Helayne.  Andrea informs him that, according to the will, Helayne gets NOTHING of Martin's fortune if she marries before the age of 25; Andrea gets everything.  For the first time, Tony doesn't follow the money trail and defiantly refuses to be Andrea's plaything any longer.  He is all set to support Helayne on his meager salary.  Andrea attacks Tony.  In self defense, Tony throws Andrea over a cliff.  Andrea's dead...very dead.

    Andrea's death is ruled as an accidental fall by the local police.  Tony and Helayne have the perfect alibi of saying they were still in Tijuana at the time of the incident.  Nevertheless, Tony and wife plan a quick trip out of the country to avoid any possible prosecution.  Shortly before they would leave, Tony gets a phone call from his pregnant former girlfriend, Sally.  When he arrives at her house, Sally shoots him.  Tony is on the ground, dying.  All of a sudden, Tony wakes up screaming on the beach.  It was all a dream!  Then he meets Andrea Hilliard for the very first time and is frozen in shock.  Everything he dreamed was really a premonition of things to come if he pursued Andrea!  A cool twist!

    This movie has its plusses and minuses.  I'll get the minuses out of the way first, as I always like to end reviews on a positive note.  The first problem with this movie is that it never should have been marketed as a horror movie.  It's not a horror movie at all.  I think more people would have gone to see this movie in the theaters if the producers would have honestly admitted it was a drama.  The only thing they did by calling this a horror movie is upset the moviegoers that were anticipating a really scary, suspenseful movie.  The title of the movie, "Point of Terror", is also misleading; it has nothing to do with the movie.

    The movie also drags a bit.  It views too much like a soap opera that you can watch on TV for free.  It should have been a bigger production, with interesting things added to separate it from TV soap operas.  This is, after all, supposed to be a movie.  Bigger action sequences would have been neat, a great soundtrack was certainly needed, and bigger thrills should have been written into the story.  They needed to raise the stakes a bit, make the conflict a bit edgier.  For instance, we never did see any confrontation between Andrea and Helayne, who supposedly hated each other.  What if Andrea tried to kill Helayne, and Tony had to save her?  That would have been exciting.

    Elaborating upon the music:  The music stinks.  There are only two songs that we hear over and over, and they aren't good the first time.  They just sound so phony.  Tony is a mod crooner in the tradition of Tom Jones, Engelbert Humperdinck, etc.  Making movies is all about knowing your audience, and the producers certainly missed their mark with this film.  They knew this was going to be a drive-in type of movie with a sort of cult audience.  Most of those moviegoers were younger people who like rock music.  If they made Tony a rock singer/guitarist, he would have been a more interesting character for viewers to follow.  The music, and the character himself, needed to be more hip.  Especially since the music was such a big part of Tony's character, and we have to hear the music so much in this movie.

    Now the plusses.  The cast is awesome.  Peter Carpenter is a cool-looking, cool-acting guy.  He gave a good acting performance.  It's a shame he didn't do more in film.  I think Hollywood lost a good potential leading man.  Dyanne Thorne is AWESOME!  Oh my goodness!  When I first saw her in this movie, in that bikini, with that figure, I knew the rest of this movie was worth watching.  Besides the fact that she's hotter than h***, she actually gives a good acting performance.  It's not often that someone so sexy can also be a very convincing villainess.  Thorne has a good balance.  I liked everyone in the cast; didn't have a problem with anyone's acting.

    I also thought the movie was well-filmed.  Good locations, but it could have used a bit more outside filming.  There seems to be too much filmed inside.  Things can get boring when you're in a small room for too long.  Plus, I felt the story was a little too big to be shot primarily inside of a nightclub, recording studio, apartment, bedroom, etc.  Overall, though, I was happy with how it was filmed.

    The story is good.  Could have been fleshed out a bit more.  I know that budgets often limit creativity, but I do know that this story deserved a splashier production.  I think it's cool that Peter Carpenter was one of the film's writers.  Since he was a writer, he had a pretty good handle on how to play the character, and he did a good job.

    Would I watch this movie again in its entirety?  Heck no.  Would I rewatch the highlights?  Sure.  The best moments were of Dyanne Thorne.


Peter Carpenter as Tony Trelos
Dyanne Thorne as Andrea Hilliard
Lory Hansen as Helayne Hilliard
Leslie Simms as Fran
Joel Marston as Martin Hilliard
Paula Mitchell as Sally, Tony's girlfriend
Dana Diamond as Barmaid, the hot, busty blonde
Al Dunlap as Charlie the Bartender
Ernest A. Charles as Detective [credited as Ernest Charles]
Roberta Robson as Martin's 1st Wife
Tony Kent as Priest
Hope Lugosi as Bar Extra [uncredited]

Director- Alex Nicol
Writers- Peter Carpenter, Ernest A. Charles, Tony Crechales, Chris Marconi.

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