Twisted Nerve poster

Bin-hunter and general gleaner Mister Museum recently walked out of the thrift store with gold on his hands: promotional books for low-rent films that ran at his sleazy hometown’s sleazy theater, the Myers, which was demolished in 1977, not long after it resorted to showing children’s films for matinees and porn at night.

The Myers Theater in Janesville

Fuck me. This simply could not be improved upon. Janesville, Wisconsin at its peak.

One such film, which strangely falls between these two categories, is Roy Boulting’s Twisted Nerve, a 1968 import of British trash sparkling with seedy sexual compulsions, sickening role play, a nefarious murder plot, and of course, Down’s Syndrome.

Twisted Nerve

Yes, Martin has problems, even worse than this shot suggests, but he’s got a plan!

The film features Hayley Mills jumping from her Disney roles in Pollyanna and The Parent Trap into go-go boots and sordid exploitation, plus Hywell Bennett as a menacing man-boy with a penchant and, let’s face it, a flair for feigning mental retardation.  Add in Billie Whitelaw as a sexually transgressive mother and there’s nothing left to do but sit back and let Bernard Herrmann’s score take it away.

Perhaps you know the whistling from the film.

*

Or from Tarantino’s Kill Bill, with Daryl Hannah’s Elle Driver co-opting the tune as well as the shrill stalking.

*

Youtube is currently running the film in its entirety. Don’t miss out!