One of the girls goes missing in broad daylight. The other must find her. But who can be trusted?
Despite the fact that it takes place in broad sunny daylight, with not a hockey mask or chainsaw in sight, the film delivers a wonderful level of suspense. It is a great example of the slasher genre in the pre- Halloween era.
This is a remake of the original little-known classic. The setting has been updated from rural France to rural Argentina - being south of the Brandt line makes it seem more remote, although the characters manage to get a signal on their mobile phones at all times, even when literally in the middle of nowhere.
It is hard to see why someone felt it necessary to remake the original. One excuse is that audiences like to see new actors in a story. When this movie was released, the biggest star was Karl Urban ( Dredd 3-D ), although he is merely a supporting character as a man whose girlfriend disappeared under similar circumstances. Heard was best known for slasher genre thriller All The Boys Love Mandy Lane , but here she is just another Final Girl.
The original was a masterpiece of suspense. As a whodunnit it works because we never find out who the serial killer is until the very end. The new version is about a sex-trafficking ring, and gives a lot away throughout the story.
The young woman has a history of mental problems. She believes she is being stalked by a black-gloved Giallo-type killer. Is she imagining it? Is there a real killer after her? Or is this an extended homage to a classic suspense thriller?
The climactic twist is a well-executed take on a classic Vincent Price movie.
A group of out-of-work actors rehearse for a stage-play in a disused theatre on an out-of-use seaside pier. They are ordered to turn up, start improvising a play ... and wait to be contacted. Four men, three women - the fourth woman is nowhere to be found. Are they the victims of a practical joker ... or a predatory homeless man ... or is a far more sinister mind at work?
This is a product of a more enlightened age, allowing female toplessness and even some male nudity (full frontal). It also lacks the tropes and cliches that modern slashers have. In fact, it seems more like a whodunnit at times. One standard horror movie trope is isolation, but here the characters interact with the local townsfolk. Instead of teenagers, the characters are all adults.
The heroes suspect that mysterious lady-of-the-manor Amanda Donohoe has something to so with missing persons cases.
The virgin sacrifice is a theme in this film.
This is basic female-in-jeopardy stuff. Luckily she has her boyfriend along - Sam Elliot ( Roadhouse ). He deals with the action-adventure stuff, including taking a crossbow to a gunfight. Luckily the other guy thinks that a shotgun can be used as a sniper rifle.
After the car crash, Pelham discovers that someone has assumed his identity. Has he got two personalities that exist independently of one another, or is there a sinister impersonator gaslighting him? Well, since he appears to be in two places at the same time it cannot be the latter. However, to pad the story out from Twilight Zone episode length to full feature-film status he sees a psychiatrist (Freddie Jones - Krull ).
The main thrust of the storyline is that Pelham has a supernatural doppelganger, a repressed personality that has manifested itself as a physically identical, but physically seperate, alter-ego. Basically Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde , but without any kind of scientific explanation.
This was made a couple of years before Moore was selected for the role of James Bond. At the time he was a television actor, not the world-famous super-star he was later to become. As such this is a small-scale film with only a few scenes of imaginative cinematography, far better suited in both scale and duration to the small screen. However, Moore adequately acquits himself as a man going gradually insane.
One thing that stands out to a modern audience is the gender roles. The woman stays at home, where she looks after the children and the servants. Meanwhile, at work Moore is the youngest member of the board. The others are stale, male and pale - but they are probably all veterans of the Royal Navy in the Second World War. On the surface of it this film should not even come close to passing the Bechdel test, although there is a scene where two named women talk about winnings in a casino.
The film is about Mark, a professional movie cameraman who also takes his cine camera everywhere. Not unlike characters in modern Found Footage movies, who seem to have their video cameras with them all the time! Mark targets women he works with - movie stand-ins, nudie models and so on. But he starts to develop feelings for the girl in the apartment downstairs, who works in a local library ...
This was written by Leo Marks, whose wartime experience as the SOE cryptographer would have familiarised him with exotic weaponry such as the device used by the killer. It was directed by Michael Powell , a former collaborator of Alfred Hitchcock . This may be stylistically influenced by Vertigo , and may in turn have influenced the promotional strategy of Psycho .
One of the lesbians is a man-hating cliche, played by an English actress who has many many supporting credits on UK TV shows. The other one is a Canadian who has done a few soft-core movies. When the movie has its compulsory soft-core sex scenes, it is easy to guess which one will do the full-frontal nudity.
To call this movie cheap is an understatement. It was shot in ten days with a handheld camera, centred around a single building in a forest. There are only half a dozen speaking parts, and everyone except the police officers wore their own clothes. It makes you wonder why relatively successful (if small-time) actors agreed to work in this slasher/softcore porn effort. It certainly was not for the money!
A naive young woman ( Rita Tushingham ) goes to London at the end of the Swinging Sixties. After a failed romance with James Bolam (The Likely LadsPeter Pan quote for the title. The resulting film is reminiscent of Twisted Nerve , Peeping Tom and Brighton Rock. The one twist being that the final reveal is a voice recording rather than a cine film.
A young Glynis Barber attends the movie premiere, which introduces the main characters. The movie's producer is the direct descendant of the man responsible for burning the witch. Soon a slasher is on the loose, stabbing the female cast members in descending order of attractiveness.
The film is a bit of a mixed bag. The suspense scenes are reminiscent of a classic Italian giallo (slasher movie) of the time. However, there is a strong supernatural element to the later killings. So the question is, are the murders committed by a ghost or a slasher?
This was written by Leo Marks (the SOE cryptographer) and directed by Michael Powell . Their previous collaboration was Peeping Tom , now regarded as a classic of the genre. This effort, perhaps due to the implied link between Downs Syndrome and homicidal mania, is rarely seen and difficult to find.
Sophie Ward provides some eye-catching nudity, which is quite an impressive statement about a woman over the age of forty.
A mature student helps a group of Undergrads with their psychology experiments. First, they interview classmates about their greatest fears. Then, the sick SOB in charge takes it to the next level ...
In order to impress gallery owner Brooke Shields the protagonist turns photo-journalist, investigating the disappearance. His girlfriend ( Leslie Bibb ) gets worried about him, but in this kind of film there is only one role for women - damsel in distress! Likewise, the hero's wisecracking best buddy is likewise set up for a limited life expectancy.
Our hero discovers that Vinnie Jones ( Swordfish ) has something to do with the disappearances.