Phobia (1980)

Psychiatrist Dr. Peter Ross (Paul Michael Glaser ) is using radical techniques — maybe even abusive — techniques on his patients to cure them of their fears. But then, they start getting killed off one after the other.

The script for this film comes from a story by Dead and Buried team Ronald Shusett* and Gary Sherman that was scripted by Peter Bellwood, Lew Lehman and Hammer veteran Jimmy Sangster.

It also has John Huston, a director of some pedigree, making it. But this feels less like the John Huston who directed The Maltese Falcon, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Asphalt Jungle, The African Queen, The Misfits and Prizzi’s Honor and more like the John Huston who acted in Myra BreckinridgeThe Bermuda Triangle and The Visitor.

But hey — Susan Hogan from The Brood and Lisa Langlois (Class of 1999Happy Birthday to MeDeady Eyes) are in this.

If this sounds like Schizo without Kinski, well…you’re not wrong.

The best thing about this movie is that Marian Waldman, Mrs. Mac from Black Christmas, plays Glaser’s housekeeper.

Seriously, John Huston directed this. And it’s dull. So dull. Nobody seems to care and the premise of making criminals atone for their crimes by taking part in an experimental video therapy and being killed is a good one. This movie does not succeed in telling that story.

*According to Dan O’Bannon, Ronald Shusett was the first to option the script from the original screenwriter. Shusett was in talks to sell the rights further, provided he could fix it, which meant that he restructured it with O’Bannon.

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