We couldn’t decide what to watch today so I took a quiz on justwatch.com which involved clicking ten movies you like from a list they provide, and then clicking on your available streaming services. For the record, I clicked Fargo, The Big Lebowski, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Planes Trains and Automobiles, and six other movies I can’t remember. And what came out of that included this grubby Floridian nightmare, Impulse, featuring the astounding thespian chops of a certain Mr. Shatner.
Yes, the Captain is here in the best/worst of 70s swinger fashion playing a conman who killed his mother’s lover with a sword as a child. In his defense, he was a small child and the guy was attacking her and calling her a tramp. But that doesn’t defend against him murdering a rich widow he grows up to date because she catches him with a belly dancer and threatens to take away everything she’s bought him including his shaving cream. He quickly moves on to Ann, a slightly younger and stupider widow. Ann’s daughter Tina coincidentally gets picked up by him hitchhiking and witnesses him run over a dog without swerving. So she starts to follow him, and finds out what he’s really up to, but no one believes her. Of course, through the power of foreshadowing, we know where this is going.
On the surface this is a movie about leisure suits, but it’s really about bad parenting. Shatner’s mother shouldn’t have brought home a stranger with her child in the house. Tina’s mother shouldn’t listen to people telling her not to worry about her grade school age child who’s skipping school to hang out in the cemetery and talk to her dead dad’s tombstone. And she should have listened to Tina when she said she saw a murder. Hell, if my kid told me my new boyfriend murdered a guy, I’d break up with him just because my kid disliked him that much, and ask more questions later. But I’m not living in a 1970s public domain movie, thank God. Polyester makes me sweat.
Impulse is streaming on YouTube and Prime, but you shouldn’t watch it unless you like really bad movies. On second thought, I was surprised to see Shatner change his facial expression from smarmy to insane on cue. It was something about his eyes. Maybe he really has been playing the long long con all these years.