Friday, August 7, 2020

“Strait-Jacket”




No, that's not a still from one of Joan Crawford's home movies, it's the legendary actress starring in a William Castle cheapie- Strait-Jacket. Her career faltering due to her demanding attitude, Ms. Crawford was pretty much taking whatever she could get by the early 1960's. When stunt-producer Castle (best known for his gimmicky horror films) approached her for the role of a paroled axe murderess, she jumped at the chance. Strangely enough, because of her seat on the Pepsi-Cola Board of Directors, she didn't even need to work anymore. It was only her ego that led her to continue hunting for roles.




In Strait-Jacket, Joan plays a woman who gets committed to an insane asylum after killing her husband and his mistress. After 20 years she is released to the custody of her daughter and appears to be on the mend, but mysterious axe murders start taking place. Who could be responsible? The answer might surprise you.



"No axes! No axes EVER!"


Don't worry, we won't spoil the surprise. In any case, Joan is in classic form here; chewing the scenery, hacking offscreen victims to bits and shamelessly promoting Pepsi every way she can.



2 out of 3 axe murderesses prefer the taste of Pepsi.


The most insane part of this movie comes at the end, however, and doesn't involve Ms. Crawford at all. Tying into last week's Freaky Friday, we again encounter Columbia's famed Torch Lady, only something seems different about her...




Yes, folks that's no photoshop. Columbia actually permitted William Castle to depict its company logo as being decapitated, possibly by Joan's character herself. In Ms. Crawford's defense, however, she did warn Torch Lady about using wire hangers...