18 September 2014

Night Tide (1960)
85 min.
Directed by Curtis Harrington.
With Dennis Hopper, Linda Lawson, Luana Anders, Gavin Muir, Tom Dillon, Cameron, Marjorie Eaton.
Director Curtis Harrington's first full length feature was this lyrical and haunting horror.

Sailor on leave Johnny (Hopper) meets lovely circus attraction Mora the Mermaid (Lawson) and the two begin an innocent romance.

But Mora has a questionable track record with love: all her past beaus have ended up mysteriously dead.

Could the strange girl be a true Siren of the sea who lures her lovers to their deaths beneath the ocean waves?

Or just a disturbed murderess who simply can't help herself?

Will Johnny extricate himself before he swims with the fishes?

Filmed in 1960, but not released theatrically until 1963 due to financial difficulties, this classy effort is beautifully filmed by Harrington and excellently acted by Hopper and Lawson.

In many ways a homage to the Val Lewton thrillers of the 1940s, the ethereal vibe here is well served by a dreamlike pace and unfettered storyline. Anders (always interesting to watch) appears in a supporting role.

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