A hidden pearl amongst the muck of early-60s horror. Doesn't quite reach the moody depths of its predecessors like Val Lewton, or the surrealistic fringes of its independent contemporaries like Carnival of Souls, but it charts its own course bolstered by a unique performance from Hopper.
3,5 Think I read someplace that certain film editors'd be irked at the supposition they were just cutting aces (so are butchers) or that cinematographers were cute shots snipers, or set designers prop-erecting hacks. They interpret, provide a vision of the whole and some productions are results of such organic & hermeneutic collabs. NT ends weakly but there's sth so youthfully jittery, searching & coherent in its use
Mysterious girls will always be more apealling than the ordinary girl next door, no matter if the latter lives @ a merry-go-round & makes damn good coffee, thus making her not that ordinary. And even if the mystery is a rather fake one, to keep M-girl away from boys. Latest Prince Charming is a sailor, a rather goofy one, which makes sense, as both him & fake mermaid seem to be sort of inadequate to life on shore.
Oh, man, I'm a sucker for everything about this. The strange, disorienting allure of small-town boardwalk carnivals; a fortune teller, a sea captain, a mysterious woman in black; young Dennis Hopper as the over-earnest all-American Johnny, and Linda Lawson as 'exotic' foreigner & (literal) siren. All via exceptional cinematography & sound. Ample subtext, if you want it. Or just enjoy the show. Forgivable ending. 3.75
The frames are inventive enough to keep me entertained. Showing off a number of distinct environments, drawing relations among objects - all very "classic" moves, but so hard to find when you aren't just watching the Great Masters. Harrington's stuff I'll have to see - he's eloquently planted himself with the genre. Begins as a dream, mostly maintains that quality. And Raskin's score is super fun. I'm having fun!
More a story of teenage longing and loss than a horror flick, Night Tide is both gentle in tone and beautiful in a surreal, enigmatic way. Notable are the sounds of waves splashing in the background and scenes of the mermaid/love interest wed to the water. An early indie gem from Harrington, known for experimental and queer cinema.
The ending is entirely anti-climactic, and the young Hopper was not yet much of actor, but he was nice to look at as is the film itself with its great atmosphere. Eaton's delivery of "Don't use that expression - fortune teller. It's so vulgar. I prefer to be called a chiromancer or clairvoyant" is hysterical. The smartest words of Johnny Drake: "I guess we're all a little afraid of what we love."
Fantastic. Never has such an uncharismatic character as Johnny been so compelling. And the whole thing felt like a dream--the main character almost always in a sailor outfit, the merry-go-round music, the creepy fairground sculptures, the cigar-chewing masseuse, Mora's clawed hands, not to mention the actual dream sequences and the eerie harpy-faced woman... I wish Curtis Harrington could write and direct MY dreams!
Mermaid Noir... A new subgerne! This film has an intriguing premise and stunning visuals but suffers from a weak script (that only gets weaker as it nears the end). With a good rewrite and an eerie minimalist score, the film could have been powerful. Still an interesting watch.
This is the type of movie that I was used to seeing on a small b&w tv, which I kept through the 90's. It's a particular aesthetic to watch it on the small grainy TV in the middle of the night. It's very strange seeing this much detail and watching it in the middle of the day. I remember what Truffaut said about not wanting to work in color, and so I watched his movies on the b&w tv. Gorgeous film.
Granted, this is far from being perfect, but despite the failings (occasional wooden acting, disjointed and sluggish pacing, horrible ending of too much tired exposition and a sudden syrupy solution), there's a mysterious and magical atmosphere which almost covers all the bumps and bruises. Enchanting b&w photography makes the locations seem out of this world, and some unforgettable scenes are almost mythical.