Strait-Jacket

1964, Movie, NR, 89 mins

Review

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Crawford stars in this Bloch-scripted (PSYCHO) tale of a crazed axe murderer. Released after spending 20 years in an mental institution for lopping the heads off her husband and his lover, Crawford returns home to her daughter, Baker, who witnessed the slayings as a three-year-old. Shortly after her return, heads begin to roll again, with all the evidence pointing to Crawford, who begins to think she's gone insane. Although it's not particularly scary and relatively gimmick-free for a Castle film, STRAIT-JACKET is lent plenty of camp value by Crawford's swaggering, suffering, self-parodying performance, as she pushes her established screen persona to new extremes. Sporting vintage 1940s clothes, a black wig, and jangling bracelets, Crawford chain-smokes her way through the movie, glaring at everyone through heavily made-up eyes. The highlight of the film occurs when she dreams that the severed heads of her husband and his lover are in bed with her. Also keep an eye out for the prominently displayed carton of Pepsi in one scene--surely one of moviedom's first blatant product endorsements. Think that it may have had something to do with Crawford's being a member of the Pepsi Company board? Nah. leave a comment

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