Impulse (1974) (part 6 of 7)

Next we see Tina walking to school as Matt drives up next to her. “Are you mad at me?” he asks. “I’m not mad at you. I like you!” Tina glares at him, saying she’s got him all figured out and that he’s just scared. At this, Matt once again transforms into Psychotic Boyfriend, yelling that Pete “deserved to die” and that “I did us all a favor! He was a waste of nothing!” Then he gets a bizarrely cheerful expression as he offers Tina a ride to school.

Tina says someone will believe her story, but Matt sneers at this, saying that people will just call her crazy, especially because she talks to her dad’s gravestone. Then he angrily points at her with both hands before finally driving off. (No, really. That’s what he does.) We next see Tina sobbing on her Dad’s tombstone yet again. She whines that “Somebody’s gotta believe me!” Hey, here’s an idea: Start with the police.

Impulse (1974) (part 6 of 7)

“What, you again, Tina? Oy vey, don’t you have any friends or anything?”

We next see Matt paying Julia a visit at her home, as Julia shows him her collection of antiquities that she inherited from her previous husbands. She mentions that she has “an authentic 14th Century chastity belt” and Matt jokes, “Which you’ve never had to use!” Yuk, yuk. If Clarence is the kind of man Julia hangs around with, no wonder.

She then points to a suit of armor with a sword and quips that it’s “nice to have a man around the house. Especially one that can’t cheat!” Gee, I can’t wait to find out if this collection of random assorted weaponry will become important later. Perhaps the set designer should have placed a blinking neon arrow next to the sword just to make sure we didn’t miss it.

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Julia asks how things are going with Ann, and Matt admits they aren’t going very well. She guesses that Tina is the problem, and from out of nowhere, Matt calls Tina crazy. Julia finds that to be rather harsh, but Matt insists. “She’s capable of anything! She lies, she cheats, she sees things!” She kicks puppies, she steals money from blind people, I saw it all, I tell you!

Matt then slips back into Kirk mode as he points out how “weird” it is that she visits her father’s tombstone. “It’s not – normal. It’s – just – not… normal behavior!” Then he starts fully coming apart at the seams. “My mother died, and… I went to visit her once, and…” Julia looks pained as Matt does his trademark pinky suck. “You can’t bring back the dead!” he cries, “No matter how much you try!” That sure didn’t stop anybody from filming this DOA script.

Impulse (1974) (part 6 of 7)

“Why – won’t – this – hangnail come off!”

Julia insists that Tina will adjust, then promises to throw a lot of business his way if he sticks around. This appears to instantly calm Matt down, because he stops sucking on his pinky and they move on to discussing whatever vague investments he wants Julia to make.

During this conversation, Julia says she wants her lawyer to take a look into things, which causes Matt to swallow his drink hard. So it appears that Matt, the lifelong gigolo and con man, never once thought maybe someone at some point would want to verify his company actually exists.

Then, in a truly bizarre moment, just as Julia is explaining how she never makes a move without her lawyer, the diamond broach on her dress leaps off and falls to the floor [?]. Sorry, Mr. Diamond Broach, but escaping from this movie just ain’t that easy. Matt dives down to get it and stares at it longingly before finally handing it back to Julia. She says she’ll have to get it fixed, then declares that she’s going to put it in “the safe” until then.

Apparently the whole point of this strange bit was so that Matt could file her comment away for later echo-y voiceover. This is confirmed when we cut to him in his car, hearing Julia in his head talking about having her lawyer “check out your company” and eventually zeroing in on the part where she mentioned her safe.

Meanwhile at Ann’s store, she’s bagging a unlabeled bottle of something for one of her customers. “I think you’ll like this,” she says. Hopefully, it’s a bottle of chloroform that will knock her unconscious for the rest of the movie. As the customer exits, Matt enters, saying that he’s going to have to break their date tonight because he’s “catching a plane to Jamaica”. Matt isn’t lying here, of course. This is actually a little known euphemism for “killing your best friend and cleaning out her safe”.

Ann says she’s still interested in investing, so Matt asks for the cash. Ann complains that she doesn’t keep that kind of money on hand, so Matt tells her to go make a withdrawal while he watches the store for her [!]. Ann, for some reason, agrees to this. She must be blinded by love. Or by Matt’s clothes.

Just as she walks out, a guy with a big handlebar mustache and a shaggy head of hair comes up to the counter. Before he can finish his sentence, Matt barks, “We’re closed”, and the guy walks out demoralized. So, I guess Construction Worker Guy from the Village People is going to have to find some other place to buy oil for his biceps.

We then cut to Tina running into Julia at the cemetery [?]. I never knew these places were such social hot spots. Julia expositiories that she’s putting flowers on the graves of her husbands, and Tina kisses up to her, apologizing for the other day. Of course, she’s only doing this so she can spill the beans about Matt killing a guy at the car wash.

Because the plot demands it, Julia just blows her off. She accuses Tina of saying “anything to keep them apart!” Then she shakes Tina and calls her a “mean, jealous, vicious little girl!” Hey, what do you know, I’m actually agreeing with somebody in this movie. Tina runs off, most likely to go bug her poor dad again, who by now is probably wondering when that whole “rest in peace” thing is supposed to start.

After a brief scene of Ann handing Matt a big wad of cash, we find Tina at Matt’s motel, trying to finagle her way into his room. She tells Slutty Motel Clerk that “He’s my uncle, you see.” The way she says this, I’m surprised she doesn’t immediately add, “Yeah, that’s it. Uncle. That will do!”

Tina wants a key to his room, but Slutty Motel Clerk informs her that Matt’s already checked out. Tina asks if she’s sure it was Matt, and Slutty Motel Clerk, being slutty and everything, says, “Yeah, I know who Matthew Stone is, alright.” (Slutty Motel Clerk, by the way, is being played by Marcy Lafferty, who would later go on to act under her married name of Marcy Lafferty-Shatner. Kinda ruins all those vicarious slutty motel thrills, doesn’t it?)

At the store, Ann gets a call from Julia, saying that she’s “concerned about something. Call it women’s intuition.” Then, without another word, she hangs up [?]. Well, I sure don’t need women’s intuition to know that was rude.

Multi-Part Article: Impulse (1974)

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  • RadioChuck

    The clip of Shatner’s tirade against the balloon woman can be found on YT, under the title “William Shatner: He Says What We Think”…def a classic moment!

  • Dale Haskell

    The eternal question- is an incredibly bad movie worth a detailed,blow by blow 7 page examination? Of course it is!! Shat forever!!!!