“The Sadist” is a horror film staring Arch Hall Jr. as the psychopathic spree killer, Charles A. Tibbs. Released in 1963, “The Sadist” tells the story of a group of high school teachers who are held captive by a psychopathic killer and his girlfriend. The teachers set out on a road trip to see a baseball game in a different state but have car trouble along the way and need to stop on the side of the road. After diagnosing the broken part and finding a near by junk yard, the trio begin to feel that something is not right. Soon they are confronted by Charles Tibbs, his girlfriend, and his hand gun. Brash, unpredictable, and overtly violent, Tibbs makes these three people learn that he now controls their lives, and will be the ultimate judge and jury determining whether they live or die.
“The Sadist” is a fascinating and horrifying experience in thesame vein as films like “Young and Dangerous”, “Compulsion”, and “Natural Born Killers”. In this reviewer’s opinion, the reason this film is a contender to the above mentioned is because of the 1960s film look, and the lack of modern day special effects and musical score. Normally this would make a film appear cheap or outdated but the lack of the bells and whistles creates a realistic and disturbing environment. Whenviewing the film, one can really feel the fear and anxiety of being stuck in a situation similar to the characters on the screen. It is intriguing to watch and the events stay with you well after the film has ended.
An interesting fact about this film is that it was inspired by a mass murderer named Charles Starkweather. Starkweather was a man who went on a killing spree road trip with his girlfriend which resulted in the deaths of eleven people and his eventual capture and execution by electric chair. The connections between the movie and the true events make the film even more eerie, as one can feel as if they are getting a glimpse into a scenario from the actual crime spree (even though this specific story is not from the true events). The film even attempted to make the main antagonist appear similar to the actual killer (see picture). This film is highly recommended! Check this out today at the Open Film Den!