THE THRILL KILLERS

year: 1964
cast: Ray Dennis Steckler, Gary Kent, Herb Robins, Joseph Bardo
rating: ****

The best thing about this glorious drive-in exploitation b-movie is its precise combination of two kinds of psychopaths, both acting completely on their own for the same results. One: the lone killer and two: the band of killers. The first is played by director Ray Dennis Steckler i.e. Cash Flagg as Mag Dog Click, a guy who travels around in a car he stole from a family man nice (and dumb) enough to try giving him a ride. Then there's three escaped loonies from the mental ward, the biggest, toughest and most dangerous played by Gary Kent, using wide crazy eyes to full effect... and then some. A happy but ultimately unlucky couple are nightmarishly badgered by the trio; and then another couple, sort of the main characters, deal with the same gang and eventually with the solo act. From the frying pan into the fire back into the pan with flames all around it, this addictive celebration of enthralling violence never lets up.

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