Plot: Julie (Mariana Hill) writes a popular newspaper column where she offers advice to readers, with topics from romance to etiquette. While she has a lot of answers for her readers, she doesn’t have all the answers for herself. She is going through a divorce and one of her main outlets is a therapy group, run by Dr. Fales (Klaus Kinski). Julie trusts Dr. Fales and values his opinions, with perhaps an interest beyond a professional one. Fales is going through troubles of his own, as his daughter struggles with life after the death of her mother, acting out in various ways. At the same time, Julie has been getting letters that involve threats and promises of violence. She brushes them off at first, but after so many letters, she reached out to the police. With no real leads from the letters and a pile of unsolved murders, the police offer minimal assistance. But when someone from the therapy group is murdered, it causes alarm and everyone involved has had to take notice and be on guard. Who is behind the letters and recent murders, is it someone close to Julie or just an obsessed reader who has gone too far?
Entertainment Value: Schizoid has an interesting backstory, with Cannon telling the director he had one month to prepare a script and begin the shoot, with Klaus Kinski already signed to perform. That had to be an imposing task, but Schizoid was birthed and how doesn’t love Kinski as a psychiatrist? I’d be terrified to go to sessions with him, but that’s just me. The story is passable, not all that memorable but it does have some nice twists and turns. The narrative is effective because of how many dysfunctional people are involved, just about anyone seems capable of murder here. The cast is able to elevate the experience, especially Kinski who is terrific as usual and Christopher Lloyd in a smaller role as a creepy handyman. But the cast overall is good here and even small roles are played to the hilt. The movie offers up a great lineup of potential suspects too, from jealous exes to cold blooded daughters to creepers and of course, the always unnerving Kinski himself. At heart this is a murder mystery with some slasher elements thrown in, but it plays more psychological than visceral. So even if you don’t normally get into slasher movies, there’s a lot to like here. So if you’re into horror, thrillers, or just love Klaus Kinski, give this one a shot.
A few topless scenes, but sadly the hot tub scene with a host of mostly middle aged women doesn’t turn into a sapphic soiree. One bare ass scene too, as a father looks in on his nude daughter as she enters the shower. Kinski has a humorous sex scene too, as he contorts his face into these grim expressions and sticks his fingers into the mouth, nose, and eyes of his lover. I guess Dr. Fales just love to stroke the face of his lovers in odd, awkward ways. As I said before, there are hints of slasher movie here, but the blood isn’t frequent or graphic. We see some stabbings and there’s blood, but not gore, just some red stuff to let us know the blade is sharp enough. A later scene where a woman in a hot tub is killed, we do get a nice slash to the face. So some blood is present and there is violence, but it is more thriller than horror movie. Some great dysfunction in Schizoid and as such, some fun exchanges. Anything that involves the Fales family is humorous, including an awkward dinner table discussion about underage drinking and the etiquette of wearing your dead mother’s clothes. Lloyd has some good creeper lines as well, but Kinski tends to steal the show here, as usual. As crazy as Kinski is, it is wild to see him as such a warm and helpful person, almost impossible to believe. The wealth of dysfunction earns a couple points, as everyone here is knee deep in issues, which only makes the movie that much more fun.
Overall Insanity: 3/10