FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Oct 29, 2006

Day 26- Glory Days

Today I watched a flick from the golden age of TV movies- 1981's Who Murdered Joy Morgan? (aka Killjoy), a movie that isn't so much a horror film as it is a thriller/suspense/mystery film. It matters not, however, because like I said, this is from the Golden Age, baby, when TV movies kicked all kinds of ass. It doesn't hurt that Who Murdered Joy Morgan? is directed by venerable television veteran John Llewellyn Moxey, who also directed The Night Stalker and the fantastic 1972 made-for-TV slasher Home for the Holidays.

It's hard to give much info about this flick without giving too much away. Simply put, the film opens with a scene reminiscent of the first scene in John Carpenter's Halloween. We get kill-o-vision as someone enters a house, grabs a pair of shears, and stabs a woman to death. The rest of the film is a plot-twisting whodunit that for once actually leaves you guessing until the final moments. Who was Joy Morgan? Did she really exist? Who among the doctors at City General Hospital had reason to kill her? The answer, of course, is everybody.

Aside from the sure-handed direction, Who Murdered Joy Morgan? is bolstered by a strong cast, including a young Kim Basinger, Robert Culp, John Rubenstein, the woman who played "Lana" on Three's Company, and Nancy Marchand. After considering the diversity of her role here, her portrayal of Tony's mom Livia on The Sopranos, and her turn as the Mayor in Police Squad!, I've begun to think that the late Nancy Marchand was the greatest actess ever. Yeah, you remember her in Police Squad!- she delivered the classic line "Assault with a concrete dildo!"...and she was Livia Soprano! See what I mean?

All in all, Who Murdered Joy Morgan? is TV-thriller-land at its most fun. Its got the cast and crew pedigrees and it ends on the best freeze-frame to end a movie ever. I give it 8 out of 10 concrete dildos.

1 comment:

Amanda By Night said...

As much as I adore the late Dan Curtis, my favorite TV Movie director is without a doubt, John Llewllyn Moxey. His films are consistently great (with a couple of misses that are still fun). It's kind of sad that he's not recognized more for his incredible work. I like to call him the "small screen Hitchcock".

Plus, Basinger was great in this. She shows a lot more energy here than I've seen in years and of course Robert Culp rocks hard.

Great film and great review again!

Amanda By Night