Music directorHerschel Burke Gilbert Duration CountryUnited States
Release dateApril 1972 CastZooey Hall (Albert), Geri Reischl (Annie), Joanne Moore Jordan (Mrs. Robertson), Greg Mullavey (Detective), Marlene Tracy (Alice), Frank Whiteman (Dr. Burton) Similar moviesThe Collector, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, Shocker, Terror Train, Bloody Moon
TaglineMay she rest... In pieces!
I Dismember Mama, also known as Poor Albert and Little Annie and Crazed (UK video title), is a 1972 horror film about a violent sex criminal with a fixation on his mother. During its original theatrical release, patrons were given free paper "Up Chuck Cups" with the purchase of a ticket. A well known trailer advertising a double feature paired with 1972's The Blood Spattered Bride, which was filmed in the style of a news report covering the "story" of an audience member who had gone insane while watching the films. The title is a pun on the famous play I Remember Mama.
Albert (Zooey Hall) has tried to kill his rich snobbish mother once, for which he was institutionalized. The low security hospital she has sent him to, however, isn't prepared to deal with the extent of his problems. Obsessed with his own hatred for his mother, Albert is dangerously violent toward all women and attacks a nurse, after which his doctor decides to send him to a high-security state institution. Albert easily escapes by murdering an orderly, and the police put his mother in hiding after he phones her and threatens her. Unfortunately, when Albert returns to his mother's home, he finds her housekeeper Alice (Marlene Tracy), whom he tortures and murders.
When Alice's 9-year-old daughter Annie (Geri Reischl) returns home from school, Albert immediately takes a liking to her and he tells her that her mother has gone to the hospital and left him to take care of Annie while she's away. Albert reverts to a childlike persona and they immediately form a friendship, playing games, talking, and laughing together. Albert takes Annie on a day of doing activities like riding paddleboats and a small train, and that night he takes her to a hotel where they conduct a mock wedding ritual. Albert considers Annie to be a pure "woman", and he truly loves her. When his sexual attraction to her manifests itself while she is sleeping, instead Albert goes out and picks up a woman in a bar and brings her back to the hotel room. His bizarre sadism comes out again and he murders the woman, but Annie wakes up and sees it happening. She screams and escapes out of a window, climbing down the fire escape with Albert chasing after her. They run into a mannequin factory, where Annie attempts to hide among the figures. Albert sees her though and envisions her wearing makeup like a harlot, and decides she is just like all the other women after all. When he attempts to kill her with a cleaver, Annie defends herself by holding one of the mannequins in front of herself. She pushes Albert backwards and he falls out of a fourth story window onto the concrete below. The police arrive moments later and comfort Annie, while Albert lies dying on the ground.
Zooey Hall as Albert
Geri Reischl as Annie
Joanne Moore Jordan as Mrs. Robertson
Greg Mullavey as Detective
Marlene Tracy as Alice
Frank Whiteman as Dr. Burton
Elaine Partnow as a Nurse
Rosella Olsen as a Girl in Poolroom
Robert Christopher as a Man In Poolroom
James Tartan as an Attendant
The film made its DVD debut on Apr 21, 2009, and was released by Substance.
Critical reception for the film has been negative. TV Guide panned the film calling the film's production "shabby" but also noted that actor Zooey Hall's performance as Albert as "interesting". Author and independent filmmaker John Kenneth Muir gave the film 1 out of a possible 4 stars, commenting that although the performances were solid and was technically well made, the film's theme of pedophilia went too far, to the point of being exploitative. On this theme Muir wrote, "I Dismember Mama makes one feel dirty about watching because its main concern is not just violence, but sex. The film makes it plain that Albert sees little Annie as a possible sexual conquest, and that is really disturbing thing to see in a film with no aspirations to be anything but entertainment."