December 01, 1980 12:00 PM

Here is a film that asks the question: What was Rick’s last name in Casablanca? It never gives the answer (Blaine), That is not the only way in which it fails to deliver. The movie preys on other movies—with allusions to Psycho, Dracula, Hopalong Cassidy and White Heat and characters with names like Stella and Professor Moriarty. Played for laughs, that might have worked. But as written—and directed—by Vernon (Unholy Rollers) Zimmerman, the film is lugubrious and the characters unpleasant. Dennis (Breaking Away) Christopher gives a humorless performance as a movie freak who masquerades as various screen characters to do away with people he dislikes. Newcomer Linda Kerridge is the only likable character, startlingly sexy and effective as a Marilyn Monroe lookalike. Zimmerman’s camera does create some memorable images, often held for several seconds before the screen fades—you guessed it—to black. (R)

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