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  Prozzie London Bridge Is Falling DownBuy this film here.
Year: 1983
Director: Ulli Lommel
Stars: Suzanna Love, Robert Walker Jr, Jeff Winchester, Amy Robinson, Bibbe Hansen, Nicolas Love, Kenneth R. Shippy, Michael Evans, Ulli Lommel, Judy Walker, Ron James, Raymond H. Shockey, Kathy Kartiganer, Warren A. Stevens, Clement von Franckenstein
Genre: Horror, Drama, Thriller, Trash, Romance
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: When Olivia (Suzanna Love) was five years old, she was the daughter of a prostitute (Bibbe Hansen), who would entertain her clients at her apartment overlooking the Thames. The girl would spy on her mother and those men through the keyhole at night, then pester her for a bedtime story when she was discovered, but one evening things did not go according to plan when one client demanded to be tied up before sex, and told Olivia's parent that on no account should she set him free, no matter what he said. She complied, then he started to get loud and abusive so she freed one arm in the process of getting him to leave - but he grabbed her head and smashed it on the bedside table till she was dead!

Well, that's not very nice is it? And with her little daughter watching too. But this was how director Ulli Lommel's Prozzie began, though that was not his preferred title, as it originally had been named Olivia after the main character, not sensational enough for the grindhouse market evidently, so changes were made (it is known under other titles too, just to be confusing). He claimed it was one of his finest achievements, though considering now he is regarded as one of the worst directors of all time, however fair or unfair that may be, you may want to take his self-praise with a pinch of salt. Certainly coming off the relative success of video nasty The Boogeyman it was something of a step down.

It was not released until a couple of years after it was completed, for example, and even then it remains one of the most obscure horror movies of its decade, not that it could be entirely classifiable as a horror as while there were definite elements of that, there were in addition aspects of social drama, romance and outright sexploitation as well. Love remained game as Olivia, in what appeared to be the director's combination of Alfred Hitchcock's Marnie, Vertigo and (naturally) Psycho, only presented with a rough-hewn style that made it look on the amateur side, no matter that there did appear to have been some money spent on it so it was not exactly eighty-four minutes of home movies.

The inspiration as far as the location went stemmed from Lommel and Love's scouting for the Boogeyman sequel which saw them wind up in Arizona where they stumbled upon London Bridge. It was love at first sight and they were determined to use the place in their next project, so Lommel penned a script based around it, though it was apparent he was none too clear on the details of how the bridge was dismantled and reassembled across the Atlantic because he had executive Robert Walker Jr in meetings about how to move the structure and its price around ten years after the event had taken place. Walker was Mike Grant, who picks up Olivia when she too becomes a prostitute, seemingly because she was bored with being a housewife but also because she is haunted by the spirit of her mother.

Or possibly because she is plain crazy, as we see when her first client is also her first murder victim, OK, he was a bit of a pervert with his bedroom adorned by his sex dolls but he was pleasant enough so we cannot condone her act of arbitrary violence. From here we anticipate a serial killer thriller, but Mike warms the cockles of Olivia's heart and she much prefers him to her thuggish husband Richard (Jeff Winchester), as meanwhile Mike is hugely impressed with her habit of biting off beer bottle tops with her teeth. As you can imagine, Prozzie was a rather eccentric enterprise, but what would you expect from a movie where an electric toothbrush was pressed into service as an improbable murder weapon, but with its poorly dubbed sound and a storyline that was purely random even with the London Bridge link, you would be best not to hope for too much. It has its fans, as does every eighties horror movie, however high calibre it was not and mostly the compulsion to see how weird it would get was what kept you watching. Music by Joel Goldsmith.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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