01 August 2014

A Cold Night's Death (1973)
74 min.
Directed by Jerrold Freedman.
With Eli Wallach, Robert Culp, Michael Gwynne.
Watch out for the monkeys!

Also known as The Chill Factor, this really weird TV horror gathers an icy vibe all its own.

Scientists Culp and Wallach are dropped off at a remote arctic experimentation center to continue high altitude/isolation research on a group of primate subjects.

But soon, strange phenomena begins occurring...the generator quits working...windows are mysteriously found open with -20 degree icestorms outside...electronic equipment turns on at will. Is there some supernatural force at work driving the two men to psychological chaos?

Channeling a bit of 1951's The Thing while at the same time hearkening forward to The Shining (1980), Cold is a triumph of mood creation: the claustrophobic halls and forced solitude constrict the viewer from its beginning to end.

Best scene: the closing moment with Wallach and his destroyer.

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