Unhinged (1982)

Nastiness Rating:

Directed by: Don Gronquist
Written by: Don Gronquist/Reagan Ramsey



When I went into this project I knew that I was going to see some real turkeys. Bad acting, bad effects, bad direction, bad writing. And I knew that some of the movies would have all of the above and more to go around.

What I had no idea that I was getting myself into was Unhinged.

Three girls get in a car wreck on their way to a jazz festival. The closest house happens to be the home of a crazy old bat in a wheelchair and her seemingly nice daughter who has to take care of her. The old bat hates men. No. That’s not exactly right. She FUCKING LOATHES men. She doesn’t even want to know that they exist. She keeps accusing her daughter of having men over all the time.

The girls are creeped out…but they stay there! For three or four nights!! What the fuck?! What happened to the jazz festival?

Of course, there is someone else there. Mom and daughter insist that there are no men around, but one of the girls has seen him. She swears! Finally, it can’t be denied anymore. There is a large, hairy man hanging out, peeping in windows looking like a fucking clown in a jack in the box. It’s a really weird scene when he is finally revealed.

That’s when the daughter tells one of the girls that her brother is secretly living in a shack near the woods. He’s harmless, though! “Oh. Ok. I guess I trust you.”

Stupid girl. What she doesn’t know is that one of her friends has already been killed (with a scythe, no less!) and she’s on the list.

Eventually, the second girl is axed to death in bed and the brother attempts to kill the third girl. She runs upstairs with the guy following her and she manages to kill him. That’s when big sis comes in, yelling at the stupid girl. “How could you! He was harmless! Oh, you don’t know MY secret! I thought you were different! I thought you would understand!” Her voice lowers and SHE’S A MAN!!!! Beating Sleepaway Camp to that big reveal…well, it isn’t exactly something to brag about.

So daughter kills the girl and goes downstairs in a very Norman Bates moment.

Mix in some really gratuitous nudity (do women really shower together this often?) and gore effects that I could have done in my backyard and you have a perfect shit storm.

And I haven’t even talked about the acting! Oh, my god. These girls are the queens of the blank stare. More vacuous characters I have not seen in my life. The daughter is giving one of them directions to the store and she looks like she’s having quantum physics explained to her.

This is absolutely among the worst of the Nasties. Just absolutely nothing to recommend it. Not even on your loneliest night.

LOW POINT: The sister’s soliloquy while killing the last girl. A bit like Stallone pontificating at the end of First Blood. She just kind of went on and on without actually saying anything, occasionally lifting an axe to bring it down one more time.

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