Friday, February 6, 2009

Temptress from the sea… loving… killing!

Night Tide (1961)

Starring: Dennis Hopper, Linda Lawson, Gavin Muir, Marjorie Cameron

The Gist: Dennis Hopper is an off-duty sailor wandering about a jazzy seaport town all dopey and wide-eyed and ready to have his innocence taken away by Mora the Mermaid (Lawson). She’s a saucy minx who lives in a merry-go-round. She may or may not be an actual mermaid and may or may not be responsible for the watery deaths of her last two boyfriends. If you’re anything like me you won’t care, you’ll be way too fascinated with how Hopper went from the cute as a button kid here to the Blue Velvet monstrosity we all know and love.

And then what happens?: This and that. Hopper meets the locals; Capt. Murdock, the old British drunk who asks a masseur to give him “a good pounding”, tee hee; the Irish merry-go-round operator who speaks of the fine Bavarian craftsmanship of the wooden horses, for no real reason; Madame Romanovitch, the fortune teller who wears distracting hats and pronounces words in surprising ways, like “clahr-voy-YONT”. He also sees the Water Witch here and there, and her appearances are the only thing that in any way suggests this film is supposed to be scary. And for the brief moments she’s given, she does a very good job of it too.

See it for: That adorable Hopper (in his widdle sailor suit!) takes a nap on Mora’s couch while she’s having a bath. He has a dream where he’s kissing her passionately. He looks down and she has a mermaid tail, and then he looks back up and he’s basically being raped by an octopus. Maybe that’s what happened to him after all...

Level of Crazy: 6. I zoned out so maybe the ending isn’t as confusing as it was to me.

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