Imagine, somewhere out there in the universe, a roving swarm of horror-movie special effects in search of a plot--any plot, no matter how insubstantial. This plot opens on a beach, where Susan (Lisa Geoffrion), a pretty waitress, unaccountably falls for Clay (Timothy Greeson), a young man
intently building sand castles. Actually Clay is a 27-year-old mental hospital outpatient living with his parents, and even great sex with Susan fails to cure him of his affliction: recurring visions of a demon and of himself murdering submissive women. As Clay's behavior becomes more aberrant, he
alienates Susan. After losing his menial job, Clay staggers home to find he has run out of Thorazine, allowing the filmmakers to indulge in loads of is-this-a-dream-or-is-it-real? sequences as Clay is overwhelmed by macabre delusions. When Clay begs Susan to return to him, she refuses.
Nevertheless, Clay tells his folks to expect his girl friend for dinner that night. Instead the police appear to arrest Clay for Susan's murder. After slitting his wrists, Clay is taken to the hospital, from which he escapes--pursued by the cops, the demon, and visions of bloody, naked women. In
Susan's apartment, where Clay seeks refuge, he is haunted by a hallucination of Susan's mutilated corpse. Forced to remember that he stabbed her after she rejected him, Clay also apparently realizes that he has killed the other women in his visions. The tormented wretch then rushes toward a squad
of police, leaving them no option but to shoot him. As the viewer ponders the horror, the misery, the insanity of it all, a final credit appears onscreen: "Filmed Entirely on Location in Sunny South Florida."
While filmmaking in the Sunshine State has progressed technically since the days of DEATH CURSE OF TARTU (1968), there is still room for improvement if this film is any indication. There's no real theme, no hint of characterization, and only the faintest excuse for a plot. Did Clay really kill the
other women? Is some supernatural agency at work? Whence comes the demon? At least the last question can be partly answered: the demon came from the makeup lab of effects artist Barry Anderson (DAY OF THE DEAD; THE UNHOLY), who uses the film's slim story as an excuse to display a profusion of
ghastly wounds. Director Cliff Guest has gained some notoriety for his music videos, notably for Madonna's "True Blue," which bears little resemblance to this film. Still, Guest doesn't hesitate to provide THE DISTURBANCE with a number of good-time tunes, including "Baby, Won't You Be My Baby" (by
Stark Naked), "Baby, Can You Rock Me" "Spark in My Heart,"and "Caught up in Your Love" (Joel Jacob and Paul Pettit). (Profanity, graphic violence, excessive nudity, sexual situations.)
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- Released: 1990
- Rating: NR
- Review: Imagine, somewhere out there in the universe, a roving swarm of horror-movie special effects in search of a plot--any plot, no matter how insubstantial. This plot opens on a beach, where Susan (Lisa Geoffrion), a pretty waitress, unaccountably falls for Cl… (more)