The Horror Honeys: 'Play Misty for Me': An Invitation to Terror! And Femullets!

'Play Misty for Me': An Invitation to Terror! And Femullets!

A Revenge Honey Erotic Thriller November Review with Linnie

Play Misty for Me (1971)

Just like I made a 00s exception to the 80s/90s rule of Erotic Thriller Month, so must an exception be made for 1971's Play Misty for Me. Directed by and starring Clint Eastwood, Play Misty was Eastwood's first film as a director and the skill he displayed this early in his career is remarkable. Also starring Jessica Walter as the most terrifying stalker in film history, Play Misty is unequivocally one of the best erotic thrillers ever made, with the benefit of being utterly squirm-inducing.

So put on a record that makes you feel a little romantic and lock all your doors! It's time to travel down the rabbit hole of insanity that is Play Misty for Me!

The Story: Radio DJ Dave Garver (Eastwood) is missing his free-spirited artist girlfriend, Tobie (Donna Mills), so he has an ill-advised several night stand with obsessed fan, Evelyn (Walter). When Dave tries to end things with Evelyn upon Tobie's return, Evelyn ain't having any of that, no sir. And what previously seemed like a woman with a hair-trigger temper turns out to be the kind of woman who stabs your maid for no good reason. Will Dave survive? Will Evelyn lose her mind entirely? Will any of these women look back on their fashion choices with the proper amount of shame?

A crime of passion? Or a crime against fashion?
The reason that Play Misty for Me works in a way that a movie like Fatal Attraction doesn't is that Evelyn manipulates Dave into their first encounter, and the pushes every one after, slowly revealing herself to be truly obsessed, rather the injured party in the situation. Dave never makes any promises to Evelyn; they are just two free-wheeling hepcats having a good time. Until Evelyn makes it clear that she wants Dave to play "Misty" for her from hell.

It's really NOT the best painting, to be fair.
And to be fair, Play Misty is entirely Jessica Walter's movie. If you're of a certain age, you may only know Walter as Lucille Bluth from Arrested Development or the voice of Malory Archer on Archer, but Walter is a stunning, dramatic actress with decades of work under her belt (Lilith, Trapper John MD, Slums of Beverly Hills). As funny as Walter can be, she's so utterly amazing when she's terrifying. There are so many scenes in Play Misty that stand leaps and bounds above others in the "crazy stalker" genre, mostly because of the skill Walter displays as a psychotic woman is anything but vulnerable... She's just straight up, balls-to-the-wall out of her mind.

"I'm not feeling 'Misty,' tonight. Can you play 'Killing Machine,' by Judas Priest?"
Play Misty for Me is also one of the few movies this month that puts far more focus on the thrilling part than the erotic, though there are some solid sex scenes scattered throughout. Is Play Misty a little misogynistic? Sure; it's Clint Eastwood... what do you expect? But outside of that, is it dated? Except for the fashion, not a bit. This horror classic stands the test of time and remains one of the most frightening movies ever made.

Throughout Erotic Thriller month, we are going to be working on a far more stringent rating scale than usual. That means that if I REALLY like a film, it will probably get a three star rating. If I love a film, four stars. If I want to take a movie behind the middle school and get it pregnant, that's a five star rating right there. So with that in mind, Play Misty for Me gets:

Erotic Thriller Rating: 5 Forget Panties, Jessica Walter Rocks out of 5

Play Misty for Me is available via iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube VOD, Vudu,
Google Play, & blu-ray/DVD

Do you want Clint to play "Misty" for you?
Tell me why on Twitter: @linnieloowho