Impulse is an ugly little picture that would play better as a comedy if it wasn’t so mean-spirited. Picture preys on the premise that when people are allowed to act according to their impulses, they will become violent, destructive and totally anti-social.
Wholesome young couple Meg Tilly and Tim Matheson are literally called to Tilly’s hometown when her mother (Lorinne Vozoff) blows her brains out while talking to her daughter on the phone. The fact that she’s still alive is only the first of the implausible happenings in Sutcliffe.
Nothing is quite what it seems in this town. Upon their arrival Matheson and Tilly encounter a seething family feud between her father (John Karlen) and her brother (Bill Paxton). Kids set Tilly’s car on fire while her old friend (Amy Stryker) tells her it’s not easy having children.
Editing has no internal logic with the time sequence totally jumbled. Performances are adequate given the material, with Matheson more convincing as a doctor than a mad-man. Hume Cronyn as the old town doc who succumbs early to the mass mania is effective though he has little to do. Tilly too is underutilized.