01 October 2014

Cry for the Strangers (1982)
100 min.
Directed by Peter Medak.
With Patrick Duffy, Cindy Pickett, Lawrence Pressman, Brian Keith, Claire Malis, Robin Ignico, Shawn Carson, Jeff Corey, Taylor Lacher, Parley Baer, Anita Dangler, Martin Kove.
In this overripe made-for-television thriller, Brad Russell (Duffy) is a psychiatrist who moves to a small town on the Pacific coast with his wife Elaine (Pickett).

Soon after, the good doctor comes into contact with a former young patient (Carson) who seems to have a link to the world of the supernatural...and could be the key to the mysterious deaths involving newcomers to the village.

Raging thunderstorms, Indian ghosts, lots of silly melodrama, and a lack of overall subtlety sink this one. Duffy (slumming from Dallas?) sleepwalks through his role, child actor Carson is completely unconvincing, and Brian Keith - who should have known better - is reduced to Kabuki histrionics by the film's ludicrous end.

It would have been wise for director Medak to go back and re-watch his earlier The Changeling for a quick study on how to properly handle this kind of subject matter. Even the nice beach community setting can't save this misfire.

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