Archive for November 23rd, 2009
A crazed doctor kidnaps beautiful women in an attempt to remove and transplant their faces onto his own daughter’s that was torn up in a road accident. It’s a wild and somewhat thought provoking plot dealing with the extremes a man can go to for the people that he loves. This is one of cinemas masterpieces, along with Psycho, can be credited as a landmark in the modern horror genre.
Released in 1960, It’s French look and feel give it a magical element and the term ‘silver screen’ is truly effective here as the film shimmers beautifully, resembling a silent classic, dreamlike and haunting. Edith Scob virtually floats from scene to scene in her role as Christine, the Doctors daughter, wearing a mask to cover her disfigured face whose hold on reality is slowly slipping away as her father thrives for that successful skin graft. It’s atmospheric suspense and underlying sinister ideal of beauty. The love of a father, whose life devotion is surface rather than the love of a child beneath the mask can be seen as horror enough. The disposable bodies of countless beautiful young women which feed his obsession, destroyed and mutilated out of his own guilt.
It’s an amazing film, Director George Franju made a huge contribution to French cinema and to the Horror genre and here, it’s easy to see why. The final moments of this film are glorious and grotesque. Like a piece of art, once experienced, this film will stay in your thoughts.
This is a real nice little curiosity. A business man is on the run, cross country after concerns of embezzlement. After a few near misses with the police, he tunes his radio to calm his nerves, only to hear a message of distress. His better side leads him to the radio station transmitting the call for help, and what he finds inside is something far more worrying than being caught by the cops.
In essence, this is HP Lovecraft down to the final frame of film although the story is not one of Lovecraft’s own, taken from an original source. It’s spooky and inquisitive with a deep feeling of dread surrounding the station. Eric Lange’s performance is convincing and reassuring, carrying along the simple thread of a plot. There are some real neat tricks too. One of the opening scenes has an amazing zoom into a map fading into a car on a road which is created with fine detail. The film certainly hits the spot too, with some brutal scenes and especially what he finds in the basement of the station, is pure poetic Lovecraft. Seek this out.