Sunday, 25 August 2013

MOVIE: The Pyx (1973)

A prostitute is found murdered in Montreal. A series of flashbacks take us through the last few hours of her life, interspersed with a police officer's investigation into her death, which uncovers a sinister satanic cult.

Not so much a horror film as a slow moving mystery/thriller, with a feel more akin to a comtemporary conspiracy thriller such as The Parallax View. The idea of opening with the death of prostitute Elizabeth (Karen Black) and the arrival on the scene of cop Dt. Sgt. Jim Henderson (Christopher Plummer) before following their respective individual stories is still quite novel 40 years down the line, with both performers giving strong performances (Plummer's role must have been a refreshing change for him at the time).

It's far from perfect, somewhat overlong in its earlier establishing scenes, and yet admirable for trying something a bit different. Once it does get going, director Harvey Hart sets up some effective set pieces, builds quite an atmosphere of dread as the two intertwined stories reach their respective climaxes, and gives the ending just enough ambiguity to keep you thinking after the credits have rolled. All in all, well worth a look.

Original US Theatrical Trailer


Canada 1973 - Cinerama Releasing

aka The Hooker Cult Murders

108 Minutes

Certificate - R (US - never released in the UK)

DVD: Scorpion Releasing (US)

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