30 May 2024
Black Noon (1971)
74 min.
Directed by Bernard L. Kowalski.
With Ray Milland, Roy Thinnes, Yvette Mimieux, Gloria Grahame, Lynn Loring, Henry Silva, Hank Worden, William Bryant.
En route to a new life, Reverend Keyes (Thinnes) and his wife nearly die in the wide expanse of the merciless desert but are rescued by some kind residents from the nearby town of San Melas.

Gentle natured Caleb (Milland) offers Keyes a position to stay on as the local preacher...but something just isn't quite right about the seemingly quaint community of Melas. What could it be?

Horror westerns rarely work (look at 1974's muddled Inn of the Damned), but this TV terror genuinely holds its own, due to a nice co mingling of '70s devil cult with period piece.

Nobody does classy, subdued villain better than Milland (see 1976's Look What's Happened to Rosemary's Baby) and this is no exception; also fun to see lovely Mimieux in an evil role.

Too bad there's not more of Grahame here, though. The fiery climax brings the restrained plot out into the open, explains all.

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