Although exaggerated and at times silly, this "Psycho" inspired thriller is an absolute classic in some schools of film-making, especially that of the Anthony Hopkins "Hannibal Lector" mythology before he portrayed the mad doctor himself and won the respect of millions of "serial thriller" movie buffs. The year is 1978, and Corky Withers (Hopkins) is a socially awkward illusionist/ventriloquist on the rise to stardom thanks to his alter personality in the form of "Fats" the dummy. Corky begins to lose his grip with reality as "Fats" takes on Hopkins more confident and aggressive side. New girlfriend, Peggy (Ann Margaret) and business agent (Burgess Meredith) all fall victim to Corky's crazy companion and inability to gain control of his inseparable other once he becomes homicidal.
This is a solid 70's psychological thriller with the classic Hitchcock spin off from the famous "Anthony Perkins" duet with his mad mommy in the form of an emotionally challenged actor and his plastic puppet. The performances (especially Hopkins) are overzealous but excellent, and the action comes off so absurd, one cannot help but laugh. You can pretty much call it a pre-Hannibal dose of delirium to the highest degree and multi-talented director Richard Attenborough directs with flare. It doesn't disappoint.
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