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Deadbolt (1992)



When medical student Marty places an ad for a roommate, her ad is answered by handsome, clean-cut Alec. At first Alec seems to be a wonderful roommate; supportive, considerate and a real friend. However, Alec's affection turns to obsession as he plots to manipulate and control all aspects of Marty's life, imprison her in her own apartment and make her his.


Man, this is one bonkers movie. Alec, the villain of the piece is played by Adam Baldwin - no not a Baldwin brother - but rather of Firefly fame. His plays sinister well. Very well, in fact. Protagonist Marty comes in the form of Justine Bateman of Family Ties. She's a strong heroine, portrays a strong woman who is manipulated by serial a manipulator/killer. It works surprisingly well - even if made for TV may limit the budget a little.

Starting with the death of an unknown woman by suicide, the film has an uneasy feel to it. It hides what it doesn't want you to see well. Who was this woman? Why did she kill herself? It turns out later that was Alec's previous "room mate". The Chekhov's gun is botulism. Seriously. Botulism plays a hand in the movie's climax.

It's actually a taut and tense watch. And a rather surprising one.

Justine Bateman

Directed by Douglas Jackson - who went on to direct no less than 59 movies - does a solid job. It's not remarkable, but it conveys "thriller" well enough.

Towards the end of the movie Alec does become something close to a super villain, snapping people necks with a pincer hold, and shrugging off killer viruses like the common cold, but it does help ramp the tension.

It's worth the 90 minutes of your life, just because of the botulism.

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