Schizo (1977)
Image Entertainment
Cast: Lynne Frederick, Stephanie Beacham

As part of their ’Euroshock Collection’, Image Entertainment brings us another film from British goremaster Pete Walker. However, ’Schizo’ doesn’t pack the punch that made Walker’s earlier films so notorious. And, considering the onscreen violence, which we have witnessed in the 25 years since ’Schizo’s’ debut, the film seems rather tame by today’s standards. Lynne Frederick (who was married to both Peter Sellers and David Frost during her lifetime) stars as Samantha, a young figure skater who is to be married to a wealthy carpet magnate. (Hey, someone has to make carpet!) After a mysterious occurrence at the wedding, Samantha begins to feel as if she’s being stalked by someone from her past. But, even when her friends and colleagues begin to turn up dead, her husband and the police still don’t believe her story. Is there someone threatening Samantha, or is it all in her mind?

Similar to the more familiar Italian gialli films, ’Schizo’ offers more shock than plot. Actually, as with Walker’s ’Frightmare’, the actual story doesn’t show up until 45 minutes into the film. For most of the first hour, the audience knows what’s been going on in the film, but doesn’t know why or how it affects the characters. However, unlike ’Frightmare’, ’Schizo’ never delivers on its promises. There are some lightly gory murders, but the ending is far too easy to guess, and is never really fully explained. As with many films from this era, the psychology presented in ’Schizo’ is woefully inaccurate, and would be insulting to most audiences today. While Walker’s earlier films were never entirely original, they usually had their own unique personality. ’Schizo’ plays like any other ’whodunnit?’ from the seventies and actually steals a scene from Dario Argento’s ’Profondo Rosso’. Fans of Pete Walker may want to check out this DVD, but all other curious parties would be better off investigating ’Frightmare.’

As noted above, ’Schizo’ jumps onto DVD courtesy of Image Entertainment. The film is presented in an anamorphic widescreen, and has been letterboxed at 1.78:1. While this is clearly a new transfer, the source print used has some noticeable problems. There is a great deal of grain in some shots, and scratches, black dots, and dirt abound throughout most of the film. Also, there are ringing artifacts, made even more evident by the halos around any white object onscreen. Having said that, the image is clear, and the colors (those 70s garish colors) come across quite nicely. The audio on the DVD is a Dolby Digital Mono track, which offers clear and audible dialogue and appropriate sound levels during the musical ’stings’. There are no extras on this DVD release.