WILLIAM GREFE WEEK: Impulse (1974)

When a movie has the working title Want A Ride, Little Girl? you know it’s going to be scummy. What may surprise you is that William Shatner — who director William Gréfe met at an airport — is in the lead role.

Don’t be fooled by the supernatural looking poster. No, this is a slasher with Shatner’s Matt Stone as the bad guy picking up young women, freaking out Shat-style and getting rid of their bodies. He’s being trailed by a detective named Karate Pete (Harold “Oddjob” Sakata), which is, pardon the pun, pretty odd. He’s on the trail because Stone keeps bilking and killing old women for their money.

Jennifer Bishop (who is also in Gréfe’s Mako the Jaws of Death) plays the daughter of one of these older women who suspects that the leisure suit-wearing Stone is a shyster. And oh yeah — Ruth Roman is in this!

Sakata almost died making this, as the rig that was used for his hanging death failed and he was nearly hung for real. Shatner saved his life — breaking a finger in the process — and the entire accident can be seen on the He Came from the Swamps documentary.

This movie belongs to Shatner. As a child, his character kills William Kerwin with a sword in a kind of pre-Pieces opening, then murders a puppy and gets so worked up in one scene that he supposedly farts on camera. His assortment of 70’s fashions are pretty astounding and every single frame of this feels as sweaty and gross as a night in the Everglades.

You can watch this on YouTube.

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