The Killing Kind (1973)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Killing Kind Photos

Movie Info

This genuinely perverse horror film stars John Savage as a young man forced to participate in the beachfront gang rape of Sue Bernard by his nasty friends. After two years in jail, he returns to the boardinghouse run by his mother (Ann Sothern), who does things like kissing him on the mouth and photographing him in the shower. Before long, he freaks out and strangles a cat while peeping at a new tenant (Cindy Williams), then almost drowns the poor girl in the pool before slashing her panties with a razor and choking her in the bathtub. He forces Bernard's car off a cliff, then makes his lawyer (Ruth Roman) drink herself stupid at knifepoint before setting her on fire. Savage and Sothern are fabulous and Luana Anders is creepy as the librarian next door who keeps trying to seduce the disturbed man. Quite a twisted little chiller, with several priceless bizarre moments like a dream sequence featuring a diapered Savage in a crib on the beach surrounded by laughing neighbors. The ubiquitous Gary Graver did 2nd unit photography.
Classics , Drama , Horror , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
Media Trend Productions

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John Savage
as Terry
Ann Sothern
as Thelma
Ruth Roman
as Rhea
Luana Anders
as Librarian
Sue Bernard
as Raped Girl
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for The Killing Kind

All Critics (3)

It's one of Harrington's best films.

Full Review… | October 30, 2009
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Despite the anticipation for the film's only director-approved release, 'The Killing Kind' is far from a classic.

Full Review… | June 19, 2008

Underrated creepy thriller from Harrington.

May 30, 2004
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for The Killing Kind


Ann Sothern gives what is probably the best performance ever on a B-movie, giving dimenion and depth to her character through subtlety and emotion. As for the rest of the film, well, it isn't bad, actually, but it's just kind of lost when it comes to focus. It's an interesting character study in its own right, but it could've been way better. Nevertheless, it remains very reminiscnent of 'Psycho' given the way it explores how much a mover's love affects a child.

Quinto Wallight
Quinto Wallight

Super Reviewer


Curtis Harrington had one of the more varied careers in American cinema: an avant garde filmmaker; a studio executive for Columbia; a hired gun on network TV shows; and the director of a string of acclaimed, low-budget exploitation films. The Killing Kind is one of the latter: a bizarre and gripping study of psychopathology and mother love with more than a few nods to Hitchcock's Psycho. It stars John Savage, a number of years before he did The Deer Hunter, and he is both adorably sweet and frighteningly disturbing as a young killer seeking revenge on those who have wronged him. Also excellent are the leading ladies in the film, including two Hollywood has beens (Ann Sothern, Ruth Roman) and one soon to be (Cindy Williams). The film never quite reaches the level of demented psychodrama that it occasionally promises, and it has a few slow stretches, but it is always compellingly off-key. Due to poorly handled distribution, the film never really got a theatrical release, and was effectively a "lost" film until Dark Sky recently put it out on DVD. Welcome back!

Andrew Syder
Andrew Syder

This movie was better then I thought it would be. Ann Southern was a excellent actress in this movie, reminded me of an Aunt I used to have, she was fun to. Not to scary just a 1973 Drive In Type Movie. Good for a Friday Night rental.

Bruce Bruce
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

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