Anguish (1988)

R | 84, 89 or 91 mins | Horror | 29 January 1988

Director:

Bigas Luna

Cinematographer:

Josep M.ª Civit

Editor:

Tom Sabin

Production Designer:

Felipe De Paco

Production Companies:

Samba P.C., Luna Fims
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HISTORY

Opening credits are preceded by a written statement: “During the film you are about to see, you will be subject to subliminal messages and mild hypnosis. This will cause you no physical harm or lasting effect, but if for any reason you lose control or feel that your mind is leaving your body -- leave the auditorium immediately.” Simultaneously, the following voice-over narration is heard: “My name is Tom Goldman. Welcome to our movie. As you’ve seen in the lobby, we have provided medical service, which is free of charge on presenting your ticket stub. Oxygen masks are available. So if during the movie the guy behind you asks for your ticket, don’t give it to him. But anyway, please don’t hesitate to go into the lobby if you feel the need. I’m here to advise you also, that our company does not assume any legal responsibility for anything that may happen to you during this screening. Good night folks, enjoy the movie. Oh and don’t forget, during the projection, don’t speak to anyone you don’t know.”
       End credits acknowledge the following “Companies”: “Barcelona: Clara Verges (Catering); Gruas Alcinsa; Mole Richardson; Comercial Morillo; Fotofilm, S.A.; Sonoblok, S.A.; Mundus, S.A.; Transportes Lazaro; Kelonik; Grau Luminotecnia; Barnatrans, S.A.; Golden Sun, S.A.; Faceta; Estudios Tramontana; J.J. Moreno; Hotel Castellnou; Predes, Caja de Ahorros Municipal de Bilbao; Nextep; London: Moores and Griffin Ltd., Michael Blake, Walley Stevenson; New York: Magno Sound; Madrid: Gruas Valero, Miguel Sabido; Tecnocameras.” End credits also state: “The producers wish to express their appreciation for the co-operation of: United Artist ... More Less

Opening credits are preceded by a written statement: “During the film you are about to see, you will be subject to subliminal messages and mild hypnosis. This will cause you no physical harm or lasting effect, but if for any reason you lose control or feel that your mind is leaving your body -- leave the auditorium immediately.” Simultaneously, the following voice-over narration is heard: “My name is Tom Goldman. Welcome to our movie. As you’ve seen in the lobby, we have provided medical service, which is free of charge on presenting your ticket stub. Oxygen masks are available. So if during the movie the guy behind you asks for your ticket, don’t give it to him. But anyway, please don’t hesitate to go into the lobby if you feel the need. I’m here to advise you also, that our company does not assume any legal responsibility for anything that may happen to you during this screening. Good night folks, enjoy the movie. Oh and don’t forget, during the projection, don’t speak to anyone you don’t know.”
       End credits acknowledge the following “Companies”: “Barcelona: Clara Verges (Catering); Gruas Alcinsa; Mole Richardson; Comercial Morillo; Fotofilm, S.A.; Sonoblok, S.A.; Mundus, S.A.; Transportes Lazaro; Kelonik; Grau Luminotecnia; Barnatrans, S.A.; Golden Sun, S.A.; Faceta; Estudios Tramontana; J.J. Moreno; Hotel Castellnou; Predes, Caja de Ahorros Municipal de Bilbao; Nextep; London: Moores and Griffin Ltd., Michael Blake, Walley Stevenson; New York: Magno Sound; Madrid: Gruas Valero, Miguel Sabido; Tecnocameras.” End credits also state: “The producers wish to express their appreciation for the co-operation of: United Artist Exhibition; Estudios Borras; Marta Flores; Monterde; Sony España, S.A.; Editorial Planeta; Optica Sentpere; W. M. Bloss; Mediclinics, S.A.; Vinçon; Parsi, S.A.; J. Genoves Timoner; C.T.N.E.; Plana Fabregat, S.A.; Berengueras, S.A.; J. Herrero, S.A.; Ateneu Samboia; Ciba-Geigy; Optica Estivill; Optica Bel; Clinica Quiron; Clinica Tres Torres; Mercabarna; B.D.; Metropolitana De Aduanas; Gymsport; Armeria Alberdi, Secció Enllumenat; Starcars, Patronal Municipal de Cultura; Armeria Alberdi, Secció Enllumenat; Starcars, Patronal Municipal de Cultura; Ajuntament De Barcelona; Ajuntament De Sant Boi.” End credits state: “The film makers also wish to thank: J. Ruiz Anchia; Anna Llaurado; Alvaro De La Huerta; Alexis Omeltchenko; Michael McLean; Alexandra Palau; Macari Jolferich; Magin Del Campo; Lluis Ros; Marceli Ribas; Josep Ballester Peris; Pere Tantiña; Carles Gonzalez; Abdo Marti; Jordi Rocosa; Jordi Benavent; Gerardo Lopez; Nuria Gomez; Jose Ruiz; Xavier Arce; Joe Wolberg (U.A.); Ramon Martos; Ricardo Casals; Salvador Blanch; Jose Garcia; Maria Jose Poblador; Pitu Herrera; Roberto Fernandez; Jorge Pachan; Angel Morales; Secundino Gallego; Solange Garriga; Tomas Huete; Juan Pelegrin; Dr. Garastegui; Pedro Balaña; Familia Herrero; Familia Guilera; Yolanda Comas; Kiku Marti; Albert Gras; Indalecio Linares; Jose Calderon; Sra. Juana; Jose Borrell; Marta Rabassa; Xavier Cabestany; Albert Comellas; Javier Rucabado; Leopoldo Pomes; Paco Terraza; Paquito Marin.” End credits also state the film was shot on the following film stock: Agfa Negative Color Film XT-125, XT-320, and Kodak Eastman Negative Color Film 5247, 5294.
       At the end of the film, the character “Patty” screams as the screen goes black. The camera pulls back to reveal an audience viewing the end credits of Anguish, which includes cast names and actors for the film within the film called The Mommy.
       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, writer and director Bigas Luna began working on the script in May 1981. He also took photographs, conducted sound tests, and experimented with hypnosis and subliminal messages. Production notes also state that after seven script drafts, the film’s “development” was completed in Nov 1983.
       News briefs in 6 Feb 1986 DV and 12 Feb 1986 Var reported principal photography was already underway. However, the 27 May 1986 HR production chart, referring to the film by the title, Angustia, reported production began 17 Mar 1986 in Barcelona, Spain, and a 26 Feb 1986 Var news item stated the picture would also be shot on locations in Madrid, Spain, and Los Angeles, CA. Var reported the film’s budget was approximately $1.5 million.
       Before principal photography started, an 11 Dec 1984 HR article mentioned Embassy Pictures had “shown interest” in distributing the film. However, there are no further reports of Embassy Pictures’ participation in the production. A 18 Sep 1987 HR article and 25 Sep 1987 DV item reported Spectrafilm had acquired North American distribution rights, and planned its release for late 1987. The picture was to have a test screening on 13 Nov 1987 in San Antonio, TX. Invitations located in AMPAS library files stated the film had “special screenings” in Los Angeles at the following venues: the Pickford Screening Room at Raleigh Studios on 19 Jan 1988, and the Cary Grant Theatre at Lorimar Studios on 19 and 29 Jan 1988.
       The picture was released 29 Jan 1988, as stated in a 29 Jan 1988 NYT review. The 20 Jul 1988 HR reported the film was previously viewed in Jan 1988 at the Avoriaz Film Festival in Avoriaz, France, and won Le Prix Tres Special, the festival’s critics award. HR also stated the picture was shown at the 17th International Fantasy and Science Film Festival in Paris, France, and received three awards: Prix de la Critique; Prix du Meilleur Scenario; and Grand Prix du Public.
       Although the HR review listed David Spiers as the picture’s editor, Spiers is not credited onscreen. According to the 24 Apr 1987 DV review, George Ayoub was the film’s associate producer, while the reviews in the 4 Feb 1988 HR and 29 Jan 1988 LAT stated Ayoub was an executive producer. However, in the print viewed, Ayoub is credited onscreen as “Casting--Los Angeles.”
       According to modern sources, such as a 10 May 2006 DV news item, Universal Pictures optioned a “pitch” from actor and screenwriter Jake Wade Wall for a project reportedly based on the film. DV also mentioned producers Doug Davison and Roy Lee were to produce the “pitch” with their company, Vertigo Entertainment, along with writer and producer Sonny Mallhi, director Bigas Luna and George Ayoub as executive producers. At the time of this record, the 11 Feb 2009 DV reported Ghost House Pictures was “remaking” the film, with Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert as producers in addition to producers Roy Lee and Doug Davison, and producer Nathan Kahane as an executive producer and George Ayoub co-producing. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
6 Feb 1986
p. 28.
Daily Variety
24 Apr 1987
p. 2, 20.
Daily Variety
25 Sep 1987
p. 2.
Daily Variety
10 May 2006
p 4.
Daily Variety
11 Feb 2009
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Dec 1984.
---
Hollywood Reporter
27 May 1986.
---
Hollywood Reporter
18 Sep 1987
p. 3, 66.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Feb 1988
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Jul 1988
p. 4, 19.
Los Angeles Times
29 Jan 1988
Calendar, p. 10.
New York Times
29 Jan 1988
p. 15.
Variety
12 Feb 1986
p. 26.
Variety
26 Feb 1986
p. 44.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Cast Old Movie:
Cast New Movie:
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANIES
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Samba P.C. - Luna Films Presents
A Pepon Coromina Production
A Bigas Luna Film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
Script
Screenplay
Dialogues
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Focus puller
Cam asst
VTR. op
Stills photog
Gaffer
Cams and anamorphic lenses by
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Story board
Story board
Story board
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
2d asst ed
3d asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
Graphic artist
Const mgr
COSTUMES
Cost des
Ward mistress
MUSIC
Mus comp
Orch dir
Orch asst
SOUND
Sd ed
Sd mixer
Sd mixer
Dolby supv
Sd secy
Sd New York
Asst sd New York
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff supv
1st eff asst
2d eff asst
Titles des
Titles
MAKEUP
1st make up asst
2d make up asst
Make up assessor
PRODUCTION MISC
Secy to the dir
Prod supv
Prod assessor
Prod assessor
General co-ordination
1st prod asst
2d prod asst
1st stage mgr
2d stage mgr
Asst prod asst
Prod secy
Prod secy
Casting-Barcelona
Casting-Barcelona
Casting-New York
Casting-New York
Casting-Los Angeles
Casting-Los Angeles
Dir, Library images from "The Lost World"
Studio, Library images from "The Lost World"
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Angustia
Release Date:
29 January 1988
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 29 January 1988
Production Date:
17 March 1986--early 1987
Copyright Claimant:
Ramaco Anstalt
Copyright Date:
26 January 1988
Copyright Number:
PA388753
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Duration(in mins):
84, 89 or 91
MPAA Rating:
R
Countries:
Spain, United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Los Angeles, California, teenagers Patty and Linda attend the Rex movie theater to see a matinee of The Mommy. In the film, a character named Alice Pressman knits as her adult son, John Pressman, tends his pet pigeons. When Alice asks John to return one of her pet snails to her terrarium, one of the birds, “Tommy,” flies and gets stuck behind a heavy cupboard. John recaptures the bird by cutting a hole in the cupboard. He then goes to a hospital eye clinic where he works as an orderly. While John assists patient Caroline Robinson with inserting her contact lenses, she yells that the lenses are hurting her. Flustered, John leaves and a nurse arrives to apologize, explaining that John is losing his vision due to diabetes. Unmoved, Caroline leaves. Meanwhile, John’s mother places a large seashell to her ear, and hears Caroline complain about John. As John returns home, Alice hypnotizes her son, ordering him to kill Caroline Robinson and remove the eyes for her human eye collection. That evening, Caroline and her boyfriend, George, prepare to attend a formal party. However, John arrives unexpectedly. He tells Caroline that she has the wrong contact lenses and offers to insert the correct ones. George convinces Caroline to take John up on his offer. In the bathroom, John places the contacts in Caroline’s eyes. As he apologizes for their earlier encounter, he slits her throat with a scalpel and removes her eyes. When George sees Caroline dead, John chases George and stabs him to death. ... +


In Los Angeles, California, teenagers Patty and Linda attend the Rex movie theater to see a matinee of The Mommy. In the film, a character named Alice Pressman knits as her adult son, John Pressman, tends his pet pigeons. When Alice asks John to return one of her pet snails to her terrarium, one of the birds, “Tommy,” flies and gets stuck behind a heavy cupboard. John recaptures the bird by cutting a hole in the cupboard. He then goes to a hospital eye clinic where he works as an orderly. While John assists patient Caroline Robinson with inserting her contact lenses, she yells that the lenses are hurting her. Flustered, John leaves and a nurse arrives to apologize, explaining that John is losing his vision due to diabetes. Unmoved, Caroline leaves. Meanwhile, John’s mother places a large seashell to her ear, and hears Caroline complain about John. As John returns home, Alice hypnotizes her son, ordering him to kill Caroline Robinson and remove the eyes for her human eye collection. That evening, Caroline and her boyfriend, George, prepare to attend a formal party. However, John arrives unexpectedly. He tells Caroline that she has the wrong contact lenses and offers to insert the correct ones. George convinces Caroline to take John up on his offer. In the bathroom, John places the contacts in Caroline’s eyes. As he apologizes for their earlier encounter, he slits her throat with a scalpel and removes her eyes. When George sees Caroline dead, John chases George and stabs him to death. Meanwhile, at the Rex, Patty complains the movie is too gory and wants to leave, but Linda wants to stay. As The Mommy continues, John returns home with the eyes. Alice informs him the eye clinic called and complained about his behavior, but she assures him they do not need the clinic anymore, and soon they will possess “all the eyes in the city.” When Alice hypnotizes John onscreen, a number of audience members in the Rex become affected by the imagery, including Patty. Back in the movie, John goes to the Roxy, a local cinema, to see the 1925 film, The Lost World. Sitting behind a man, John reaches under the cuff of his trousers and pulls out a thin metal rod attached to his shin. He covers the man’s mouth, stabs his throat, and with his scalpel, cuts the man’s eyes out. While Patty watches the scene, she notices a stranger across the aisle scratch his shin. Scared, she leaves for the restroom. However, a man follows her into the ladies’ room with sneakers similar to those worn by the stranger across the aisle, and Patty runs back to Linda. She begs Linda to check out the stranger in the restroom. Linda reluctantly goes, but orders Patty to stay and watch the film. In the restroom, Linda does not see the stranger, but out in the lobby, the stranger pulls a gun with a silencer and murders two Rex theater employees. Leaving the restroom, Linda sees the killer’s victims and hides in one of the men’s restroom stalls. As the killer enters the men’s restroom and places the bodies in another stall, he utters, “Mother.” Back in the movie, The Mommy, John enters the Roxy theater’s women’s restroom and kills a woman. After dragging her body into a stall, the Roxy ticket taker enters and John kills her as well. Afterward, in the lobby, John stabs the concession stand worker, barricades the doors, and traps the moviegoers inside. The Roxy projectionist sees him and runs back into his projection booth to telephone the police. In the Rex theater audience, Patty cries and waits for Linda to return. A man in the row behind her goes to the lobby to look for Linda, but is shot to death by the killer. Linda walks into the lobby once more, only to find the killer barricading the theater doors. Unnoticed, Linda runs outside and tells a salesman named Bob about the killer. He walks her back to the Rex. Seeing the barricaded doors and blood, Bob and Linda leave to call the police. Inside the Rex, the killer covers Patty’s mouth, points his gun to her head, and stares at the screen. In The Mommy movie, Alice is angry with her son for killing people without instruction, knocking over her snail terrarium and freeing his caged pigeons. She takes a taxi to bring her son home. Meanwhile, at the Rex, the killer talks to Alice from the screen, disturbing the spectators. Seeing him with a gun, they panic and attempt to escape. The killer drags Patty to the stage and fires randomly; his actions mimicking John in the film on screen. In The Mother, Alice arrives at the Roxy with police to convince John to give up. At the Rex, S.W.A.T. (Special Weapons And Tactics) officers enter the projection booth from the roof and order the killer to release Patty, but the killer tells them he is waiting for his mother. Seeing Alice and the police in The Mommy projected on the Rex’s screen, the killer lets Patty go and shoots at the screen. Just then, S.W.A.T. officers shoot the Rex theater killer, killing him. As police officers break down the doors, Patty believes John from The Mommy is demanding her eyes by throwing a scalpel at her right eye. However, medics treating her insist there is nothing sticking out of her eye. After being reunited with Linda, Patty loses consciousness and awakens in a hospital with her parents and Linda at her bedside. When Linda leaves, a man grabs her in the elevator and aims a scalpel at her eyes. Back in Patty’s hospital room, an orderly arrives. She recognizes him as “John” from The Mommy and screams. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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