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Angustia (a.k.a. Anguish) is a 1987 Spanish-produced horror film starring Zelda Rubinstein, Michael Lerner, Talia Paul, Angel Jove and Clara Pastor.

​Plot Edit

Warning: this text contains details about the plot/ending of the film.

In the Los Angeles theater The Rex moviegoers watch the film within a film, The Mommy.

The Mommy tells the story of John Pressman (Michael Lerner), an extermaely myopic uncntrolled diabetic who works as an ophthalmologist's assistant and is progressively growing blind. For unstated reasons his overbearing mother Alice (Zelda Rubinstein) hypnotizes him and induces him to murder people so that he can remove their eyes and bring them back to her. One evening, John - against his mother's wishes - barricades himself inside a movie theater playing The Lost World where he sets about killing the patrons one by one with a scalpel. Once John's rampage becomes apparent, the surviving moviegoers attempt to flee the now sealed-off theater. The police bring Alice to the theater in an attempt to end the siege. In the course of trying to talk John down Alice is accidentally shot to death by the police.   

As The Mommy wears on patrons of The Rex begin to experience anxiety attacks and disorientation in response to the events onscreen. In particular, one man grows progressively agitated, constantly checking his watch and a teenage girl, Patty, begins to break down in tears though she cannot entirely articulate her fear. At a key point in the film the man exits the theater and approaches the concession stand where he's recognized by an employee as a frequenter of ​The Mommy. Patty's friend Linda goes to use the bathroom moments later and witnesses The Man removing a gun from his jacket and killing the concession worker and another theater employee. The Man drags their bodies to the bathroom - an act synchronized with John killing a woman in the bathroom of a movie theater in The Mommy. ​Linda escapes the theater and stops a man passing on the street whom she asks to call the police.

In The Rex the man barricades the projectionist in the projector booth and then slips back into the theater where he holds Patty at gunpoint and begins reciting dialogue from The Mommy​. When John Pressman begins his theater rampage onscreen the man begins indiscriminately shoothing patrons of The Rex using Patty as a human shield.

Outside The Rex, a SWAT team arrives in synchronicity with the police's arrival at the theater in The Mommy. The police obtain access to the projector booth via the roof and send in a sniper. The man holds Patty hostage in front of the theater addressing Alice onscreen and asking her to come save him. Attempts by the police to engage the man fail. When the police in The Mommy kill Alice the man becomes enraged, throws Patty to the ground and resumes firing into the audience. The police sniper then shoots and kills him. Patty looking up at the screen has a vision of John gouging out her eye with a scalpel. Outside Patty and Linda are reunited and Patty is taken to the hospital. Doctors assure her that she is physically all right, though the experience was mentally scarring. As Linda leaves, John appears in the elevator and gouges out her eyes. He then proceeds to Patty's room and attacks her with a scalpel. As the screen cuts to black the camera pulls back to show a movie theater of patrons watching the events onscreen, revealing that Patty's was in fact a film within a film within a film. The credits for Anguish roll as the theater patrons leave one-by one.

List of DeathsEdit

List of deaths in the film, Angustia

Name Cause of Death Killer On Screen Notes
Caroline Garden shears in chest 3 times John Pressman Yes Old Movie
Caroline's Boyfriend Face cut off with garden shears John Pressman Yes Old Movie
Don Fell down stairs John Pressman Yes Old Movie
Sleepy Throat slit with saw John Pressman Yes Old Movie
Laura Flatline John Pressman Yes Old Movie
Tricket Girl Killed The Killer Yes New Movie
Concession Girl Decapiated with knife The Killer Yes New Movie
Bathroom Woman Cut in half with chainsaw John Pressman Yes Old Movie
Concession Girl Garden shears in leg John Pressman Yes Old Movie
Tricket Girl Heart attach John Pressman Yes Old Movie
Patty's Father Strangled with movie tape The Killer Yes New Movie
Patty's Mother Arrow in chest The Killer Yes New Movie
Student #1 Neck snapped John Pressman Yes Old Movie
Sleepy Shot in sotmach with revolver The Killer Yes New Movie
Elderly Man Shot 8 times in torso with revolver The Killer Yes New Movie
First Murder Shot 2 times with revolver The Killer Yes New Movie
Ann Shot in head with recolver The Killer No New Movie
Salesman Heart attach The Killer No New Movie
Hairy Woman Impaled through back with book The Killer No New Movie
The Killer Garden shears in shoulder, Shot in penis with nail gun, torso slashed with bayonet SWAT Man Yes New Movie
Alice Pressman, Mother Knifed in back John Pressman Yes Old Movie
Linda Throat slice John Pressman Yes New Movie
Patty Unknown John Pressman Yes New Movie

Cast Edit

  • Zelda Rubinstein - Alice Pressman, the Mother
  • Michael Lerner - John Pressman
  • Talia Paul - Patty
  • Àngel Jové - The Killer
  • Clara Pastor - Linda
  • Isabel García Lorca - Caroline
  • Nat Baker - Teaching Doctor
  • Edward Ledden - Doctor
  • Gustavo Gili - Student #1
  • Antonio Regueiro - Student #2
  • Joaquín Ribas - Student #3
  • Janet Porter - Laboratoty Nurse
  • Patricia Manget - Nurse at Clinic #1
  • Merche Gascón - Nurse at Clinic #2
  • Jose M. Chucarro - Caroline's Boyfriends
  • Antonela Murgia - Ticket Girl
  • Josephine Borchaca - Concession Girl
  • Georgie Pinkley - Laura
  • Francesco Rabella - Don
  • Diane Pinkley - Popcorn Woman
  • Benito Pocino - Popcorn Man
  • Víctor Guillén - Sleepy
  • Evely Rosemika - Bathroom Woman
  • Michael Chandler - Projectionist
  • Vicente Gil - Taxi Driver
  • Michael Heat - Inspector
  • Pedro Vidal - Police Officer
  • Robert Long - Police Officer
  • Jaime Ros - Police Officer (as Juame Ros)
  • Miguel Montfort - Police Officer
  • Jordi Estivill - Police Officer
  • Alberto Merelles - Police Officer
  • Javier Moya - Police Officer
  • John Garcia - Police Officer
  • Kit Kincannon - Salesman
  • Ttiana Thauven - Ticket Girl
  • Joy Blackurn - Concession Girl
  • Marc Maloney - Elderly Man
  • Jasmine Parker - Elderly Woman
  • Jean Paul Soto - Manny
  • Javier Durán - Moe
  • Marc Auba - Jack
  • Randall Stewart - First Murder
  • Eva Heald - Granny
  • Rose Sherpac - Granny's Friend
  • Emy Matías - Hairy Woman
  • Elisa Crehvet - Ann
  • Mingo Ràfols - Chicano
  • Maribel Martínez - Hysterical Woman
  • Gustavo Guarin - Hysterical Husband
  • Frank Craven - Sleepy
  • Mário Fernández - Black Boy
  • May Vives - Blond Girl
  • Craig Hill - Doctor at Hospital
  • Anita Shemanski - Nurse at Hospital
  • Fiacre O'Rafferty - Projectionist
  • Maria Richard - Patty's Mother
  • John Shelly - Patty's Father
  • Ricardo Azulay - Police Commander
  • Joe Wolberg - SWAT Commander
  • Steven Brown - SWAT Man #1
  • Fabia Matas - SWAT Man #2
  • Mark Parker - SWAT Man #3
  • Philip Rodgers - Medic
  • Joan Lloveras - Medic
  • Ignacia García - Medic
  • Jose Luise Amposte - Police Officer
  • Eric Pier - Police Officer
  • Clause Braum - Police Officer
  • Jorde Ferrer - Police Officer
  • Jorde Torras - Police Officer
  • Pep Cukart - Police Officer
  • Tito Álvarez - Police Officer
  • John Heald - Police Officer
  • Angelika Thiblant - Police Officer
  • Elvira Salles - Nurse in Street
  • Tatiana Girl - Nurse in Street
  • Margarita Borchaca - Nurse in Street
  • Julia Carrasco - Nurse in Street
  • María Guerín - Nurse in Street

Awards and nominations Edit

Won Edit

Goya Awards

  • Best Special Effects (Francisco Teres)

Sant Jordi Awards

  • Best Film (Bigas Luna)

Nominated Edit

Goya Awards

  • Best Director (Bigas Luna)

Videos Edit

External links Edit

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