Case Number 26627: Small Claims Court

LURKERS / DIE SISTER, DIE

Die Sister, Die
Scorpion Releasing // 1972 // 90 Minutes // Rated PG
Lurkers
Scorpion Releasing // 1988 // 90 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Appellate Judge Tom Becker (Retired) // November 28th, 2013

The Charge

Go ahead and scream...

The Case

Scorpion's Katarina's Nightmare Theater offers up a pair of low-impact chillers. One has turned up on a few of those Mill Creek supersets (you know, like 32 movies on 8 discs, those sets); the other, well, I've never even heard of it, and generally, I've at least heard of these things.

The over-exposed film is Lurkers, a bizarre stew from Roberta Findlay. Findlay, with her husband Robert, made a bunch of exploitation films in the 1960s and '70s. These were notable because, unlike most exploitation films at the time, which were either about sex or violence, the Findlays' films were about sex and violence. Among their "notable" achievements: The Slaughter, a film so poorly made, even by exploitation standards, that it sat on the distributor's shelf for years...until he dusted it off, shot a new ending suggesting a "real" murder was being committed for the cameras, and christened it Snuff, thus making exploitation history.

Michael Findlay died in the '70s in a helicopter accident, and Roberta soldiered on through the '80s, abandoning exploitation for horror, and finally abandoning filmmaking altogether.

Lurkers was one of Findlay's last films, and it's not exactly a rousing send-off. A muddled story of an abused young girl who has terrifying visions and nightmares who grows up to be an abused young woman who has terrifying visions and nightmares, it's not without interest, but it's not worth the trouble of really seeking out, either. Things like acting and production values are poor, and it's a long, long way denouement-land.

The second film is easier to follow, but not particularly exciting. Die Sister, Die is about a man whose sister controls the family fortune. She wants to die. He wants her to die. Technically speaking, there should be no movie, right? Oh, but there is, a long, talky movie that looks like an expanded episode of a '70s television drama and is just as thrilling. The guy hires a young woman with a past to care for his sometimes-nutty/sometimes-sane sister, and what should really be a simple murder plot gets all bungled to hell and back. I was hoping for a bit of the old Grand Guignol, but all I got was a petit mal de tête. Not a lot to see here, but a passable time waster.

Both films look and sound pretty good, particularly Die Sister, Die, which comes with a pretty robust transfer, given the age and obscurity of the title. The two films are contained on a single disc, and both feature isolated score tracks as supplements, along with trailers for other Scorpion films and some intro/outro stuff from Katarina Leigh Waters.

Two under-the-radar films get a reasonable but unspectacular under-the-radar release.

The Verdict

Not guilty.

Review content copyright © 2013 Tom Becker; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice, Die Sister, Die
Judgment: 65

Perp Profile, Die Sister, Die
Video Formats:
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)

Subtitles:
* None

Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 1972
MPAA Rating: Rated PG

Distinguishing Marks, Die Sister, Die
* Isolated Score
* Trailer

Scales of Justice, Lurkers
Judgment: 65

Perp Profile, Lurkers
Video Formats:
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)

Subtitles:
* None

Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 1988
MPAA Rating: Rated R

Distinguishing Marks, Lurkers
* Isolated Score
* Trailer

Accomplices
* IMDb: Lurkers
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0095557/combined

* IMDb: Die Sister, Die
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0068485/combined