Picks and Pans Review: Deadly Intentions

UPDATED 05/20/1985 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 05/20/1985 at 01:00 AM EDT

ABC (Sunday, May 19, 8 p.m. ET)

Here's a second ABC miniseries in two weeks about a true-life psychopath—first Death in California, now Deadly Intentions. Nip this bud now. Deadly is about a bright but nerdy doctor, played by Michael (The Terminator) Biehn, who marries sweet Madolyn (Urban Cowboy) Smith. The first of two parts hits you over the head with evidence of his craziness: He dances too close to his mother (Cloris Leachman hamming it up as a devil mom); he wears weird shirts; he obsessively keeps his schedule on a blackboard; he lets his wife scream in terror as she is chased in a Florida pond by alligators so that he can take pictures of her fright. Bum-da-da-dum. You figure out a lot sooner than the director thinks you can that this guy is running on uranium, with a short fuse. Part One sets you up, so you're waiting for the ax to fall. Quite literally. Part Two has a twist—of the plot, not the blade—but it wouldn't be fair to reveal that. Still, it would be fair to say that the twist cannot rescue this mini from tedium masquerading as terror, followed by the usual trial scene. When will somebody find a way to make a trial interesting? Fatal Vision was a spectacular mini about a true-life psycho because it kept you guessing, wondering, curious and scared. Deadly Intentions does just the opposite. It doesn't dangle that ax; it hits you over the head with it. Again and again. (Part Two airs Monday.)

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