Today I watched a flick from the golden age of TV movies- 1981's Who Murdered Joy Morgan? (aka Killjoy), a movie that isn't so much a horror film as it is a thriller/suspense/mystery film. It matters not, however, because like I said, this is from the Golden Age, baby, when TV movies kicked all kinds of ass. It doesn't hurt that Who Murdered Joy Morgan? is directed by venerable television veteran John Llewellyn Moxey, who also directed The Night Stalker and the fantastic 1972 made-for-TV slasher Home for the Holidays.
It's hard to give much info about this flick without giving too much away. Simply put, the film opens with a scene reminiscent of the first scene in John Carpenter's Halloween. We get kill-o-vision as someone enters a house, grabs a pair of shears, and stabs a woman to death. The rest of the film is a plot-twisting whodunit that for once actually leaves you guessing until the final moments. Who was Joy Morgan? Did she really exist? Who among the doctors at City General Hospital had reason to kill her? The answer, of course, is everybody.
Aside from the sure-handed direction, Who Murdered Joy Morgan? is bolstered by a strong cast, including a young Kim Basinger, Robert Culp, John Rubenstein, the woman who played "Lana" on Three's Company, and Nancy Marchand. After considering the diversity of her role here, her portrayal of Tony's mom Livia on The Sopranos, and her turn as the Mayor in Police Squad!, I've begun to think that the late Nancy Marchand was the greatest actess ever. Yeah, you remember her in Police Squad!- she delivered the classic line "Assault with a concrete dildo!"...and she was Livia Soprano! See what I mean?
All in all, Who Murdered Joy Morgan? is TV-thriller-land at its most fun. Its got the cast and crew pedigrees and it ends on the best freeze-frame to end a movie ever. I give it 8 out of 10 concrete dildos.