SLASHER MONTH: Disconnected (1984)

I’d never seen this until the Neon Brainiacs guys picked it one of our movies on the Drive-In Asylum Double Feature. Man — this is something.

Directed by Gorman Bechard, this film centers around video store employee Alicia — if you love seeing classic VHS cases, this is assuredly a movie you should watch — who allows an old man into her home to use the phone and abruptly disappear. She tries to relate this story to her boyfriend Mike and her gorgeous twin sister Barbara Ann, who is definitely stealing Mike away from her. She’s also being pursued by a strange man named Franklin who comes to her store despite not having a VCR. And when she gets home from the bar that night, she starts a series of prank calls that either have strange voices at the end or have Mike and her sister discussing murdering her and the affair they are having behind her back.

At the same time, Detective Tremaglio is investigating a series of crimes and this section of the movie takes the form of what we’d call found footage these days, as we see the actual interrogations.

If you’ve just read those two paragraphs and thought, “Disconnected seems to make no sense,” trust me, it lives up to its name.

Alicia and Franklin begin a romance — at the same time that he’s murdering women and using their dead bodies for sexual pleasure — and then just when it seems like things are about to get resolved, the calls begin all over again, even after she destroys the phone, which starts bleeding. Then the old man leaves her apartment.

Shot in Waterbury, Connecticut and featuring a soundtrack with XTC, The Excerpts (the band Jon Brion started in), Haysi Fantayzee and Hunters & Collectors, there really isn’t a slasher — there isn’t a movie — like this. Of course, Vinegar Syndrome put it out. They made some kind of deal with several dark demons to have the inside track on the rights to forgotten VHS rental movies or something. They’re going to all lose their souls, but we get some great movies out of their dark deal.

You can also watch this on Tubi.

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