Taglines: When fear made her a victim, she turned fear into a weapon.
An intended rape victim manages to escape from her attacker but leaves her purse behind. Worried that he may visit her house and finish what he has started, she contacts the police but they are unable to help, saying that she has no proof. “If he calls, let us know and we’ll send a man round!”
A fat load of good that would be. Her worst fears are realised when, alone one day in the house, her attacker visits and attempts again to rape her. Circumstances allow her not only to resist the attack but to turn the tables and lock him away. And that is where her dilemma really starts. Does she release him and risk another attack? Does she go to the police and risk being called a liar? Or does she kill him – and become as low as him?
Extremities is a 1986 American thriller film starring Farrah Fawcett, Alfre Woodard, Diana Scarwid and James Russo. It was adapted from the successful, yet controversial, 1982 off-Broadway play of the same name by William Mastrosimone, focusing on a woman who captures her stalker and rapist in her home and exacts revenge on him with her housemates. Both Fawcett and Russo had appeared in the stage play (Fawcett taking over a role originated by Susan Sarandon), and Fawcett received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress for her performance in the film.
About the Story
Marjorie (Farrah Fawcett) is a young woman who works in a museum and lives with two female roommates, Pat (Woodard) and Terry (Scarwid) in Los Angeles. One night, while getting into her car, she is attacked at knifepoint by a masked assailant (Russo), who forces her to touch him sexually.
Marjorie manages to escape, but not before the mugger makes off with her purse. She goes to the police but is told there is very little they can do. One week later, while Marjorie’s roommates are at work, her nightmare comes true as the assailant (named Joe) casually enters her house, having used her personal information to find out where she lives.
A terrifying sequence of events unfolds as Joe subjects Marjorie to a continuous barrage of mental and physical assaults. The tables finally turn, however, when Marjorie overpowers Joe by spraying his eyes and mouth with insect repellent as he’s getting ready to rape her. Marjorie then ties Joe up and subjects him to the same kind of physical and mental assaults he used on her earlier, even reducing him to tears as he pleads for his life when he learns that he’s ingested some of the insect repellent Marjorie sprayed at him.
When Terry and Pat return home, they try to convince Marjorie, who is contemplating murdering Joe, to think about the consequences of her actions, since Joe didn’t actually rape or attempt to kill her. Joe attempts to fabricate a story that he had a one-night stand with Marjorie at a party some time ago, which her roommates almost believe. Marjorie calls him a liar and attacks him, finding the sheath knife he used on her in the first attack, proving her story to Patty and Terry.
Marjorie forces Joe to admit his guilt by torturing him with the blade, and at one point threatens to castrate him if he does not tell the truth. Defeated, a sobbing Joe confesses that he watched the house and stole letters to find out details of the women’s lives, and that he intended to rape and kill Marjorie and her roommates that day. He also confesses to the rapes and presumed murders of three other women. Finally at peace, Marjorie allows Patty and Terry to get the police.
Directed by: Robert M. Young
Starring: Farrah Fawcett, James Russo, Alfre Woodard, Diana Scarwid, Sandy Martin, Eddie Velez, Tom Everett, Donna Lynn Leavy
Screenplay by: William Mastrosimone
Production Design by: Chester Kaczenski
Cinematography by: Curtis Clark
Film Editing by: Arthur Coburn
Costume Design by: Linda M. Bass
Makeup Department: Steve LaPorte
Music by: J.A.C. Redford
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: August 22, 1986