After watching the film I can understand how it made the Video Nasty list; the director, Matt Cimber, chose to show Molly's sexual abuse at the hands of her father, who was mentally unstable. Though most of these scenes are shot well and the abuse is suggested, sometimes very subtly. It's the pivotal scene which is the most disturbing. Robert Thom, the writer who also wrote Death Race 2000, added a nasty twist at this point. It adds to the reason why Molly is so broken. Cimber does tone it down a little but couldn't remove the scene entirely as, like I said, it's pivotal and adds to the story and character of Molly; it clarifies a lot of things for the audience.
That said, the film is felicitous and unfortunately still relevant today. The film starts on the beach as Molly is babysitting her sister's children, Tad and Tripoli. As she tells her nephews the stories of her seafaring father, their grandfather, she watches the men on the muscle beach, drinking in every inch of their bodies, She drifts off into a daydream where they all die.
As the film progresses Molly keeps fading in and out of daydreams where the men in mind die, most in gruesome ways. Then one morning she wakes up in her on-again-off-again lover's bed as he shakes her awake to tell her that two famous football players have been murdered. One of her killer daydreams were of her sexual and murderous encounter. This startles her but doesn't trouble her.
As the dreams keep coming, as do the deaths, the police start to close in on her just as she and her friends start to believe she's the killer.
Now, this is the strange thing for all but the last murder her dreams came before the murder, whereas the last killing is her dream - it occurs at the same time. Apart from the last death you never see her commit them in her real life, just in her dreams. This makes the film feel disjointed and I was left wondering if she really did carry them out or if some other force was at work.
Along with the memories of her abuse, which also appear in dreamlike sequences the entire film has an abstract impression. This, in turn, gives the film more depth and power. I'm not one for flashbacks and the like as they inevitably make a movie feel cluttered and sometimes incomprehensible. So respect due to Cimber for making so many work comprehensibly to strengthen the story and film.
Millie Perkins, known for playing Anne Frank, does a splendid job of playing down her troubled past, though you can see the effects working free on her face. You know she's troubled but not to what extent.
Lonny Chapman, who plays the bar-owner and on-again-off-again lover, is brilliant as the man who truly loves her and is worried for her but just cannot really help her.
There is so much in this film to like, I just wished that Cimber and Thom had gone for a more paranormal explanation for the murders since it appears impossible for her to have carried out a couple of them. It may have made the film cleaner. Even the poster, which when you first look at it emanates an exploitation vibe, is pretty true to the film and pulls images from a mermaid tattoo, Birth Of Venus by Botticelli, and her feelings towards men and her father. The images are featured in the movie and once you see them the poster makes better sense.
Though I liked the film it did feel more like an art-house film than a thriller, though if you like revenge movies you may like this. Just be warned, it may leave a nasty taste in your mouth, thanks to the aforementioned abuse scenes and the end sequence.
Not for everybody.