Lt. Dave Madden (Jan Murray) is a grim single-dad police detective who embarks on a one-man crusade to track down a depraved sex maniac when nightclub disc jockey Norah Dain (Juliet Prowse) receives a disturbing series of obscene phone calls.
Finding himself getting far too close to the victim for comfort, the hard-boiled cop must track down the unbalanced pervert before he can carry out his sick threats.
There are quite a few suspects at the club where Nora works: a rude obnoxious customer who keeps pestering her and a large deaf mute club bouncer called Carlo (Daniel J Travanti) who keeps an eye out for her.
Then there’s Lawrence Sherman (Sal Mineo) – a young busboy who nervously wanders around her. Sadly, Lawrence has a very messed up family life and cares for his mentally challenged sister Edie (Margot Bennett) who was brain damaged as a child.
He looks after her and works nights before spending the rest of the evening brooding and sweating in his underwear.
Refused certification on its original theatrical release due to its sleazy, taboo-breaking nature, this psychological crime thriller features strong performances from Mineo as the bodybuilding, pornography-addicted busboy and Prowse as the victimised nightclub hostess.
Showcasing Oscar-nominated cinematographer Joseph Brun’s breathtaking imagery of pre-clean-up Times Square and 42nd Street, this forgotten neo-noir masterpiece of American independent cinema still retains the power to shock and crackles with energy from its smart dialogue, electrifying performances and groovy dance sequences.
The luminous black and white photography is superb, giving the movie a lush Film Noir feel.
Lt. Dave Madden
Daniel J Travanti