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A hippie girl wandering on a California beach is taken in by a Korean War veteran who lives in a nearby mansion with his sister. The girl soon begins to suspect that the mansion is home to some very strange goings-on. Written by
Mixed feelings: loved the style, hated the editing. See the full version if you can.
Looking over other viewer comments, I feel like I missed some significant footage -- sad, because I saw this as a candidate film for the National Film Registry. My experience was that the cannibalism wasn't even broached -- "hinted at" is a smaller and more fitting description. I started out with the understanding that the film deals with this topic, so it was easy for me to find the theme in the disjointed images that Harvey (allegedly from his deathbed) pieced together. However, in the edit that I saw, Harvey really only approached the subject during the dinner scene, which to the uninformed viewer, leaves Jason Henry coming off only as a rather perverse murderer.
As a red-toned color film, it kept with the 70s feel, especially with the Lou Rawls theme song that really seems not to fit at all, and it's definitely the sort of film that you can settle into on a Saturday afternoon.
For the most part, I felt that it was a shaky effort that obviously suffers from the (unavoidable) lack of directorial input in the final stages.
Despite this, the one incredibly positive thing I have to say is that Harvey did succeed in creating one impacting, chilling, flawless scene in a movie of otherwise so-so acting. Harvey is the perennial director, and this is never so evident as when he plays Jason Henry behind a camera. The moments just prior and after this are really unspectacular, but in the few seconds that the viewer is looking at the visage of Harvey, peering from behind the camera with diabolical intent, I was completely stunned and frightened, not because Harvey belonged in the psyche of a killer, but because the killer belonged behind the camera -- Harvey's character became more real, more insidious because the character encompassed a real person. Not a better case for method acting exists, I would venture.
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