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As the narrator invites us to explore the horrors of an insane mind, a young woman wakes from a nightmare in a cheap hotel room. We follow her through the skid-row night and encounters with an abusive husband; a wino; a pimp and the rich man he panders for; a flashback to her traumatic childhood; violence; pursuit through dark streets; dementia. Filmed in film-noir style throughout; only the narrator speaks. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
This film received scant distribution. It became well known when footage from it was used in the theatre sequence of the highly popular release The Blob (1958). See more »
Come with me into the tormented, haunted, half-lit night of the insane. This is my world. Let me lead you into it. Let me take you into the mind of a woman who is mad. You may not recognize some things in this world, and the faces will look strange to you. For this is a place where there is no love, no hope...in the pulsing, throbbing world of the insane mind, where only nightmares are real, nightmares of the Daughter of Horror!
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Thanks be to TMC for reviving this curiosity for a popular audience. I can't imagine what the movie's producers foresaw in the way of audience potential. I gather the film was shot in 1953, certainly not a promising period for an experimental feature of any kind. I also gather the atrocious narrative was added later to maybe give the package commercial appeal. But not even a 50's drive-in farthest from town would book a weirdo like this. Perhaps college area theatres would have booked it as a midnight feature, playing up the sex angle. Anyway, to me, its origins appear puzzling, indeed.
All in all, the end result is about as schizoid as the lead female character, combining striking visuals and special effects with amateurish acting and brain-dead narration. Someone in production certainly had an artistic eye for visual compositioncheck out the long shot of the gamin entering and exiting the spacious hotel lobby. They're beautifully composed. Actually, the visuals suggest that perhaps Welles saw the production before filming Touch of Evil (1957), especially Dementia's skid-row area that resembles Evil's Venice beach locations.
Certainly the movie has its cheesy elements. But to call the movie itself cheesy is to miss the artistic undercurrent that kept me hooked.
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