Five Desperate Women (1971)

The line between the giallo and 70s made-for-TV movies is a very thin one and this is one film that easily could be defined as an American cousin of that native Italian — by way of Germany and England — form.

Five young women have their five-year college reunion only to discover that life hasn’t worked out well for all of them. Nonetheless, they try to enjoy their getaway on an isolated island that has no phone service, which seems to offer them the perfect escape.

They are Lucy (Anjanette Comer, who was in The Baby, which was also directed by this film’s director, Ted Post), Dorian (Joan Hackett, Bobby’s mother in Dead of Night), Joy (Denise Nicholas, TV’s In the Heat of the Night), Gloria (Stefanie Powers!) and Mary Grace (Julie Sommars). Bradford Dillman and Robert Conrad play the captain of the boat that takes the women to their vacation spot and the caretaker of the mansion where they stay. Guess what? One of them is a maniac.

This was produced by Aaron Spelling and, as we said above, directed by Ted Post, who always turns in material well above what it should be. It was written by Marc Norman (Shakespeare In Love), Walter Black (who wrote for the Planet of the Apes TV series) and Larry Gordon, who also wrote The Devil’s 8.

You can watch this on YouTube.

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