A real chiller with a touch of camp, this suspenseful horror film stars an aging Joan Crawford as a woman who spends 20 years locked up in a hospital for the criminally insane after committing a series of axe murders. After her release, she seems normal enough and lives with her daughter. But when the axe murders resume, and she keeps having realistic flashbacks, the horror begins anew.
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Critic Reviews for Strait-Jacket
Joan Crawford in a shlocky classic B thriller and all about axe murders.
Audience Reviews for Strait-Jacket
This is a fun murder mystery, you think you know what's going on, but it surprises you. I really liked it.More
omg hilarious. actually i felt a little sorry for joan. this is what happened to female stars who were considered too old to play romantic leads. i would love to own this poster tho :pMore
inspired by "whatever happened to baby jane," william castle approaches joan crawford to star in his ax-swaying camp classic "straight-jacket" which accidentally turns into the muse for christina crawford to write "mommie dearest"(which tina shows to joan one year before she dies that leads to the nullification of tina and christopger's heritage.) as well as its faye dunaway's movie adaption.
admitted by crawford herself, except "night gallery," every flick after "baby jane" stinks, and she does them for boredom and the urgent need of money. and in 1964, movie theater actually dispatches card-board ax to the audience with a slyly smirking humor. if one pays attention, the comlumbia lady's head is chopped off in the end sequence.
the story is predictable, crawford plays lucy harpin who chops off her husband and his mistress's heads with an ax after discovering his infidelty on bed, then lucy is inflicted with maniac insanity ever since for twenty years. lucy returns home when her daughter grows up as a young lady. then several decapitated murders occur, suddenly lucy is in the tainted spot of suspicions again.
unknown to most, the script is actually created by the classic writer of hitchcock's "psycho", robert bloch. you might find the remnant cheese of "psycho" in it: the perversion of oedipus complex, transvestite schizophrenia and the titilating suspense before the murder.
as for crawford's performance, it's sheerly campy fun to the maxium since castle requests crawford to go full throttle, and she does. crawford shifts from the timid mom in plain matron suit to floral-dressed trampy brunette with a vulgar bang. one moment, she's fragile and coyly demure, next moment she tries to behave flamboyantly with a sedative wink, teasing her daughter's boyfriend with fingers upon his lips, flirting with a man young enough to be her son by attempting to place her fingers into his mouth. that is astounishly jaw-dropping, lighting off a matchstick by scratching the gramophone record. simply classic!!!! but when she shifts to the state of norm, her frailty seems genuine and there's an residual of elegance in her when she combs her hair neat to bare the contour of her well-proportioned profile.
"straight-jacket" is hilarious and the beheading looks so laughably fake, and it's designed for those hard-core crawford likers and aficinados who appreciate camp horror and william castle.
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