46 Make a Man, 47 Make a Killer! The Horror of Genes and Chromosomes [and Typos]! (March, 1969)

 

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“No puppet master pulls the string on high,
A twisted nerve, a ganglion gone awry,
Predestinates the sinner or the saint”

 
And there you have the gist of the nature vs. nurture grist of the Boulting Brother’s psychological thriller, Twisted Nerve. Based on the junk science notion of uneven chromosomes equaling a genetic predisposition to violence, the film concentrates on a young, such-afflicted sociopath who stalks a pretty young waif after she helps him out of a jam, and then ingratiates himself into her family to get even closer to his target infatuation, spinning a web of lies along the way. Unfortunately, his odd behavior soon draws suspicion; and when the sheer weight of all those carefully constructed deceits causes them to inevitably collapse, our boy has to work fast (usually, with something sharp) to maintain his delusions. Yeah, it’s central premise is out of date and, let’s face it, horribly offensive, but if you can get past that you’ve got yourself a nice and twisted little squirmer that is slow to boil but worth the wait when it finally blows. Beyond that, the film’s biggest notation is the post-Disney debut of Hayley Mills, and the sinister-Bernard Herrmann enhanced tune that our villain constantly whistles that will bore into both ears and keep on going until they meet in the middle at your medulla-oblongata and completely shred your brain into iddy-bitty pieces. Have a listen:

Twisted Nerve (1968) Charter Film Productions :: National General Pictures / EP: John Boulting / P: George W. George, Frank Granat / D: Roy Boulting / W: Leo Marks, Roy Boulting / C: Harry Waxman / E: Martin Charles / M: Bernard Herrmann / S: Hayley Mills, Hywel Bennett, Billie Whitelaw, Barry Foster

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