Phobia / When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder? (1980 / 1979) UK Quad Poster
Any time a director dares to cheapen their talent with a thriller / horror film, the critics sharpen their knives before shooting has finished. John Huston's worst film? Not by a long shot - although even after the incredible Wise Blood (1979) showed he'd lost none of his touch, the 73 year old wasn't being offered the best scripts Hollywood had. Next stop, Escape to Victory (1981). But this was a chamber piece, in the same style as Altman's Streamers (1983). Dr Paul Michael Glaser is the chief suspect when patients undergoing his radical therapy begin to die, each according to their specific phobia. It has a melancholy edge to it in its depiction of damaged souls that passes beyond the schlock factor.
When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder? was a superior bottom half of the double bill. Mark Medoff wrote both the play and screenplay, where Marjoe Gortner gave his finest performance as the drug dealer temporarily stranded in Anytown USA. He proceeds to torture the assembled good ole' boy's attitudes and white trash Americana. It takes a while to introduce the characters, but they are all thoroughly dismembered and displayed after Marjoe's psychotic barrage.
Artist: Alex Ebel
Condition: VERY FINE
Cast: Paul Michael Glaser, Susan Hogan - the unfortunate teacher in The Brood (1979), John Colicos - The Changling (1980), Lisa Langlois - Happy Birthday To Me (1981), Class of 1984 (1982) / Marjoe Gortner, Candy Clark, Peter Firth fresh from Equus (1977), Lee Grant, Bill McKinney - in everything from She Freak (1967) Deliverance (1972), The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) to First Blood (1982), The Green Mile (1999) and 2001 Maniacs (2005), Pat Hingle