I know, but to me things change. People die. But in a picture or painting,

                       they're yours forever.


Frank Zito is a middle-aged, overweight loner living in New York City, where he works as the landlord of a small apartment complex. Unbeknown to his tenants, Frank is a schitzoid serial killer who spends his nights stalking and killing women, scalping them and bringing the scalps and their clothing back home to decorate his steadily growing supply of mannequins. Once a mannequin has been decorated to his satisfaction, Frank sleeps with it for several nights, using them to carry on one-sided conversations with his deceased mother, an abusive prostitute who subjected him to years of physical abuse before dying in a car accident and leaving him orphaned. Inexplicably, after several nights, Frank grows tired of each mannequin, posing them around different parts of his apartment before seeking out another victim.

One afternoon, Frank sees that his picture has been taken by a fashion photographer named Anna. Getting her name off of the luggage tag she keeps on her purse, Frank tracks her down, but is impressed enough with her artwork that rather than kill her, he begins dating her. While visiting her on the set of her latest photo shoot, he is so taken with one of Anna's models that he steals a piece of the woman's jewelry, using it as a pretext to come to her apartment later that night so that he can kidnap her. Frank takes the model home, where he addresses her as his mother, declaring his undying love for her before stabbing her to death. He then mutilates her body and disposes of it, later attending the funeral with Anna.

His grip on reality quickly deteriorating, Frank takes Anna to his mother's grave one night on the way to the movies. At the cemetery, Frank tries to kill Anna, but she wounds him with a shovel left lying by a freshly dug grave and escapes. Frank begins suffering disorienting, disturbing hallucinations of his mother's corpse rising up from its grave and of his mother beckoning to him from her bed. He returns to his apartment, where he has a vision of the mannequins transforming into the reanimated corpses of his victims and tearing his body apart.

The next morning, two police detectives, apparently alerted by Anna, break down the door to Frank's apartment. They find him on his bed, bleeding from the stomach as the result of a self-inflicted knife wound. The detectives, upon seeing Frank's mannequin collection, leave the apartment, at which point Frank opens his eyes and the movie ends.













                                                                             Copyright(C) 2007 - 2020. All rights reserved.



Directed by William Lustig
Produced by Andrew W. Garroni
William Lustig
Written by C.A. Rosenberg
Joe Spinell
Starring Joe Spinell Caroline Munro  Abigail Clayton Kelly Piper
Music by Jay Chattaway
Distributed by Analysis Film Releasing Corporation
Release date(s) December 26, 1980
Running time 87 min
Language English