Impulse (1974) (part 7 of 7)

Later that night, we see Julia merrily feeding her fish. Boy, I wonder if this aquarium will be important later. I still haven’t been proven right about the sword, so I guess we’ll just have to see. She hears a sound and turns around to find Matt standing behind her. Fortunately, Matt has applied some dark makeup under his eyes to make himself look extra crazed, so Julia immediately guesses that Tina was telling the truth about him being a murderer.

Matt feigns ignorance and walks over with a really dopey look on his face. He then tries to reach into the aquarium [?] but Julia stops him. What is he now, her pet Siamese?

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Matt grabs her, shakes her violently, and demands that she open her safe. Julia complies and nervously manipulates the combination lock. Meanwhile, Matt hops up and down silently mouthing the word “Open” [!!] like he’s a kid outside a Toys-R-Us at ten in the morning. Cleverly, Julia has a gun in her safe, but not so cleverly, she allows Matt to run right up and wrestle it away from her. For reasons not explored, he just tosses it away.

Impulse (1974) (part 7 of 7)

Hey, Bill, in five years they’re gonna make Star Trek: The Motion Picture. How do you feel?

Julia tries to escape, but she slips and falls to the ground. From her oh-so-convenient “collection”, she locates a dagger and starts swinging it at him. She lunges forward and slashes his hand a little, but Matt quickly recovers and kicks the knife away. Strangely, even though he just tossed away the gun, he dives to the ground in desperate search of the dagger.

He finds it and straddles Julia, but instead of just stabbing her, he waves it around in front of the camera for a while. Just then, because it’s in the script and everything, Tina shows up [?]. She just happens to peek through the curtains at the exact moment Matt stabs Julia in the gut.

Next we see a panicked Matt reeling backwards. He freaks when he sees his hands are covered in blood, so he rips the curtains down and wipes his hands on them [!]. Quite the cunning killer, no? Conveniently, this allows Matt to spot Tina right outside the house. She bolts away and he runs out after her, thus beginning yet another utterly pointless chase.

We see Tina running through the cemetery in a lousy day-for-night shot. No, wait. I take that back. It’s pretty obvious that it’s suddenly broad daylight here, and those dubbed-in cricket noises aren’t fooling anybody. We watch for several minutes as Matt chases Tina, giving Shatner the opportunity to invent a style of running that he would make good use of for five seasons of T.J. Hooker. Also adding to the hilarity is when some of the shots appear to be sped up a lá Benny Hill.

Finally, Tina runs into a funeral home, recoiling as she bumps into various floral arrangements. Eventually she sees a dead body in a coffin and shrieks bloody murder. (There goes my hearing.) She runs out into a corridor where, for no reason whatsoever, she falls down some stairs and is knocked senseless.

Matt hears her screams and comes running. Spotting her motionless at the bottom of the stairs, he heads in for the kill. Instead, a really loud and macabre pipe organ starts up and Matt gets that patented faraway look in his eyes. We see him again flash back to being a kid (strangely, this flashback is in color) as he stands in front of a coffin along with two adults consoling him. So, who’s supposed to be in the coffin? Mom? Sarge? Who knows? Who cares? Either way, Matt backs off in fear.

He heads out of the funeral home, but passes by the body in the coffin and flips out. We pull back and see that the body is actually resting in front of several rows of pews and that there are a dozen people gathered there for a funeral [!]. Matt staggers forward, shoving a couple of people around as he stumbles out.

Impulse (1974) (part 7 of 7)

It’s okay, I’m sure Grandpa would have wanted things this way.

Finally, he ends up back at Julia’s house and starts rifling through her safe. Unfortunately, all he finds in there is a stack of index cards [?]. Boy, Julia sure was protective about her index cards. Despondent, he slides down the wall and begins sobbing like he just learned the Klingons killed his son.

Suddenly, Ann pulls up outside, and Matt hides behind the front door. She walks right in and stops in her tracks when she sees the ransacked safe. Then she turns a few steps to her left and sees Dead Julia lying on the floor. Eventually, she turns another few steps and sees Psychotic Boyfriend.

Matt gets an evil look and forces Ann to do a psychotic version of the tango with him. As he gets her into a headlock, we see an arm grab at his pant leg. Apparently, Julia isn’t completely dead yet.

Impulse (1974) (part 7 of 7)

“Seriously, what do those look like to you? Guppies? Angelfish? Cichlids?”

Matt extricates Julia’s hand and returns his attention to Ann. As it so happens, they’re standing right next to the aquarium, so Matt gets Ann in a hold and starts dunking her head into the fish tank. Unsurprisingly, this is depicted through charming close-ups of Ann’s face shot from inside the tank as she struggles to break free.

Abruptly, Matt gets a look of shock on his face and a little blood dribbles out of his mouth. Completely flummoxed, he turns around to find that Tina has stabbed him in the back with the conveniently established sword. Matt lurches towards her, but instead of stabbing him again, Tina slowly backs away so that Matt can stare down the blade, just like Sarge did in the opening scene. (The symbolism here is just blowing my mind.) Luckily for her, Matt somehow impales himself on the sword and falls to his knees.

Impulse (1974) (part 7 of 7)

Are you getting the similarities here? Well, dammit, are you?

Eventually, he ends up dead on the ground, curled up in the fetal position. Tina drops the sword with a thud, and Ann pulls herself up out of the fish tank. (Boy, is she going to need some conditioner.) Ann goes to Tina, and the two whimper and shriek and head for the front door. (So much for Julia, I guess.) Just before they walk out, for no good reason, Tina points at Matt’s body [?] and shrieks again. Mom shushes her and they leave.

For one last moment of echo-y voiceover, we hear Matt repeat his earlier line about being like a puppy dog left out in the middle of the road. Since both people who heard him say this are now dead, I don’t know who’s supposed to be flashing back to it. Either way, the credits mercifully start rolling.

Multi-Part Article: Impulse (1974)

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