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By Bob Westal | February 25, 2002

It’s a given that there’s no one happier than a ten year old boy who has discovered a stack of girlie magazines out behind the garage. How much happier might that ten year old be to see a real live naked lady? It’s certainly all young Thomas Harris (Daryl Adams, Jr.) can think about, as he misuses his telescope to spy on a sexy neighbor. If only she were actually naked.
That night, Thomas pulls the big half of a wishbone. He rushes back to his telescope and sees the woman of his dreams in the altogether, just as he’d wished. But the next morning, the dream has turned to a nightmare when his little brother and father appear naked, too. In fact, everyone’s clothing has disappeared. The thought of seeing his mother naked is horrifying, and a trip to grandpa’s house is a cause for terror. Will our young hero have to spend the rest of his life with his eyes closed, running in fear from elderly relatives?
Unfortunately, after a few minutes, you won’t care either. “Peeping Tom” is the sort of student film that, instead of failing by striking out blindly or going over the top, overdoses on exactly the wrong kind of Hollywood professionalism. Actually, there are some funny moments early on, but any humor is quickly drowned by picture postcard photography, bland writing, (which I’m sure some screenwriter teacher praised to the skies), a lame ending, worse music, weak acting and gauzy, picture postcard photography. The saddest thing about this movie is, I suspect, it came out exactly as the filmmakers envisioned.
(By the way, not that anyone cares about film history, but “Peeping Tom” happens to be the title of the landmark voyeuristic 1960 horror film that scandalized English critics and filmgoers and ended the English film career of the brilliant Michæl Powell. A fitting homage, this ain’t.)

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