Bargain bin finds: Edge of Terror

Carl goes digging through the cheapie bins again, trying to find a hidden gem...

It’s taken a while, but it’s back! I only wish it was with a good, proper film rather than this awful drivel.

First and foremost, Edge of Terror has a woeful plot line. A murder mystery writer goes on retreat in a small, barely populated area of Greece, only to be confronted with, you guessed it, murder. Phil, the first person we are introduced to that you think might be the killer? He is. There’s no messing around, which is part of the problem. All elements of mystery and suspense have now buggered off.

15 minutes into the film, he’s already killed someone, and he’s set off on his obvious mission of killing again. That’s pretty fast by anyone’s standards. I mean, this isn’t Raimi’s Evil Dead 2, which is a shame, because that’s actually a good film. Cue some awful and pitiful fighting back from our lead character, Sian, which makes him go away for a bit. The killer seems like a toddler, running around, more into causing mischief than wanting to murder people. Especially when uttering such clichéd lines as “Do you wanna play a game?” I don’t really know what I expected from a 15 in the 80s. Obviously, too much.

And yes, it gets worse. When the cop arrives and doesn’t immediately get Sian out of there, even although he knows that Phil’s killed at least once, it just gets idiotic. Especially with his hammy acting, churning out awful lines such as “A few more minutes won’t kill you” and “you’ll be fine now that I’m here.”

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Guess what? He dies. And that’s another thing. For a film centred around death, the scenes where people die are the worst of the entire wretched thing! At least with some terrible thrillers and horrors, the deaths are inventive. Of course, the killer changes his tactics here, going from toddler to blind drunk. I should be surprised, but since the rest of a film is a shambles, I’m not.

Another thing typical of bad films is terrible soundtracks, and don’t think for a second that this one escapes. It is the 80s, but, believe it or not, this is worse than sub-standard. Some of it is pure avant-garde drum machine bashing. It creates no tension; if anything, it only helps bury this film further down in hell, and makes it less watchable.

Now, we thankfully come to the ending. What the hell is this film trying to do at this point? It takes the entire bloody film for Sian to remember one of the very few things she was told about the house at the very start. “The locked cupboard just contains some hunting implements” i.e. the first place you’d look when there’s a murderer after you. In the end, it doesn’t even matter, as the shutter on a window foils the killer. Fool. The last 5 minutes go a little like this: Sian finds a skeleton, some honeymooners turn up outside and have an argument in a car for no reason, and the killer comes back, only to fall off a cliff and die.

I wonder if anything good came of this cast; Meg Foster, who played Sian, has had a bare minimum of roles since, but a recurring role in Hercules and Xena may give her a few pennies in royalties each month; Wings Hauser, who played the drunk toddler Phil, has almost exclusively been working in small TV roles ever since; and Steve Railsback, who played Kesner the Cop, has had a fair amount of work thrown his way, most notably as Duane Barry on The X-Files. The honeymooners however, have had no work since this film. It’s kinda funny, though, that most of the bit parts (husband on the phone, friends of Sian we see for mere moments) are given top billing on the DVD case, whereas the three important characters aren’t listed anywhere. Strange.

In conclusion, I think I may have just watched the worst film of all time. If you ever see it in a bargain bin, hide it, or better yet, buy it and burn it so that no one ever has to see it again.

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See what Carl found last time here.