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Through a series of macabre "coincidences," the newly-elected director of a cemetery (Richard Boone) begins to believe that he can cause the deaths of living owners of burial plots by merely changing the push-pin color from white (living) to black (dead) on a large wall map of the cemetery that notes those plots.Written by
As the film progresses and Kraft gradually comes to believe that the map controls him, the map on the wall becomes slightly larger in each progressive scene, symbolizing it slowly controlling him. See more »
Andy, you better get this straight right now. You heard that lieutenant. It's possible for some people to have things inside them that make other things happen. Nothing is impossible for a man like that, if he thinks about it hard enough.
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Any fan of the classic Twilight Zone will adore this forgotten and underrated horror gem. Richard Boone is the reluctant caretaker of a town's cemetery when he accidentally discovers that folks die when he marks them as deceased on the cemetery's map. Everyone tells him that it's merely coincidence and he continues to prove them wrong, being driven mad from the guilt.
A wonderful musical score along with some amazing camera work do most of the job of creating the eerie and haunting mood of a man losing his mind as he literally marks those around him for death. The script is above par and the acting is all surprisingly good for any movie, much less a 50's horror flick. It is because of the sadly disappointing ending (which in effect turns the whole movie into a mess) that this film is not regarded more highly and instead is relegated to the back shelves of video stores as a lost almost-masterpiece and not simply a masterpiece. But the ending by no means ruins the film.
Fans of 50's and 60's horror will enjoy this more than they expect, although be wary of the implications of the cover art - this movie is 100% zombie-free (which is too bad, because there was a wonderful opportunity to end the movie with zombies instead of the ending that's there). And as an odd final note, the screenwriter went on to write The Deer Hunter. I can't say that tells you much about this film, except to say that you can expect someone to hold a gun to their own head at some point.
Check it out! It's cheaper to buy a used copy off Amazon than it is to rent.
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