For Your Murder Hook-Up – Party Line (1988)

Despite having a very interesting cast that can count Richard Hatch, Leif Garrett and Richard Roundtree among its number, Party Line is a pretty tame slasher that does little and is more entertaining to see just how flustered Hatch’s charcter becomes than the murders.

Suffice it to say, being a slasher, there are a number of kills made in the film and what is slightly intriguing is that they include both men and women among their number. The killer as played by Garrett is a confused and sick individual who misses his dead mother who committed suicide, is in love with his sister who helps him with his kills and cannot control his urges in the slightest which get far more prolific as the story moves along. Not quite so hot on his trail is Hatch and Shawn Weatherly who plays an assistant district attorney. The two do their best but with no real leads they are not getting anywhere. Eventually, they get what they need and begin to track Garrett down when he kidnaps Weatherly which sets Hatch’s character into overdrive, doing what he needs to do in order to save the day.

For his part Roundtree is only in this for a moment which is a shame because he might have given this movie what it needed had he taken the lead, not to mention beefing the script up a little in order for that to happen. Hatch is usually a solid player and he was not overly bad here though like previoulsy mentioned, it was a lot of fun to see him running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Far more interesting and slightly disturbing at the same time was the killer as played by Garrett who never knew when to quit. His fascination with his sister which bordered on incest was perhaps the most horrific thing this horror movie had to offer and sad as well, for it was his childhood that shaped him and from everything that was offered up in this picture to paint that picture for the audience, it was not an easy one.

As for the kills, they were pretty tame, the weapon of choice being a straight razor and while brutal in nature, there was little blood and those moments where someone was killed, were not built up enough for any of them to mean anything or have any impact with the audience. There is one murder that is a little shocking as it was a little out of the blue though somewhat expected if one were to think about it and that is where Garrett’s killer made his first big mistake. Overall, Party Line was okay, yet watching this is only worth it for the cast alone as the rest of it could have been a little stronger than it was.

2.5 out of 5

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