22 May 2005 | lazarillo
William Shatner's Masterpiece
William Shatner is most famous for his television work (and his ill-advised singing career), but he has actually done his best work in movies. In his pre-"Star Trek" days he starred as a klansman/provocateur in "Intruder", one of Roger Corman's most interesting films (and the only one to lose money). He was also in "Incubus", the first (and last) film done entirely in the "international" language of Esperanto. In "The Devil's Rain" he faced off against a cult of obsessed weirdos (and, no, it wasn't set at a Star Trek convention). Then there is this film, perhaps, his masterpiece where he plays a psycho in a polyester leisure suit who marries vulnerable women and knocks them off--kind of a 70's version of "The Stepfather".
Naturally, the only person who suspects him is the young daughter of his latest would-be victim, thus the misleading alternate title "Do You Want a Ride, Little Girl?" "Impulse" is not a great title either since it's one shared by about ten other movies. If this movie had a decent title, it probably would have been more successful and it would probably be released on DVD today, because it is really a hoot. Is it a great movie? No, but neither is "Star Trek" and at least no one takes it seriously. You don't see thousands of people dressing up in leisure suits and gold chains and attending conventions devoted to it. Nor has anyone made "Impulse--the Next Generation" or half a dozen other sequels and spin-offs. The movie also perfectly fits Shatner's overly dramatic acting style. It really is the part he was born to play. I wouldn't recommend it to your more serious "Star Trek" fans who don't really grasp the sublime campiness of Shatner, but for everybody else...