On leave in a shore side town, Johnny becomes interested in a young dark haired woman. They meet and he learns that she plays a mermaid in the local carnival. After strange occurrences, ... See full summary »
On leave in a shore side town, Johnny becomes interested in a young dark haired woman. They meet and he learns that she plays a mermaid in the local carnival. After strange occurrences, Johnny begins to believe that she may actually be a real mermaid that habitually kills during the cycle of the full moon. Written by
Peter Lorre was approached to play the role of Capt. Murdock, but the filmmakers couldn't afford the salary he demanded. See more »
When Johnny sits and talks with Capt. Murdock in Murdock's home, directly behind the captain, stuck to the wall under a leopard's pelt, is a small photo of a seated woman. The photo is entirely unobstructed. As the scene progresses, the photo inexplicably moves several inches to the left, to where it is now half-concealed by the leopard pelt. See more »
Effective and moody portrayal of loneliness. Fans of "Carnival of Souls" and "Incubus" will enjoy
Nearly every review of this film calls it a "mood piece", and thats certainly accurate. Those expecting a quickly-paced drive-in horror film will be disappointed. However, those who enjoy atmosphere and character driven fantasy-horror films, such as "Carnival of Souls", will probably appreciate this. Curtis Harrington seemed to be at his best when making this, judging from "Queen of Blood" and this. It could've used a few more horror elements, but overall this was a memorable little film. It was slowly paced yet never dull and ultimately an effective portrayal of loneliness.
Dennis Hopper, turning in probably the most restrained performance of his career, does a good job in his first starring role. Those familiar only with his hippie period ("Easy Rider") and the comeback usually playing over-the-top villains ("Blue Velvet", "River's Edge"), will be surprised at how atypical his parts used to be. Its far from a perfect performance (hes a bit too low-key at times), but gives a lot of emotion for his character. The same can be said for Linda Lawson, playing a mysterious, yet like Hopper ultimately sympathetic character. What makes this more impressive for me than your normal slash-and-dice effort (and will probably disappoint fans of such) is there's no actual monsters or villains. However, fans of moody and atmospheric fantasy-horror films such as the works of Val Lewton will find much to enjoy. I'm looking forward to a second viewing. The only major flaw in the film is the rather deus-ex-machina conclusion, but even that can be overlooked in retrospect. (7/10)
20 of 20 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?