Movie Diary 6/21/2010

Never Take Candy from a Stranger (Cyril Frankel, 1960). Part of a recent DVD set of non-horror titles from England’s Hammer Films. Which means it was written about by DVD reviewers. Which means I probably read about this movie. Which makes me ask the question: could nobody warn me about this thing? Jesus Christ, this is a creepy, devastating, bleak picture about a powerful child molester in a small Canadian town who gets away with his perversions because he’s considered harmless and because everybody in town is under his family’s economic thumb.

These Are the Damned (Joseph Losey, 1963). From the same DVD set, a kind of collision of Losey’s B-movie projects (sci-fi plot involving weird kids, plus violent teen rebels) with his loftier Euro-pictures (Antonioniesque  artists drifting around stark windswept exteriors, speaking of the world and its future), and damned if both parts don’t work pretty well.

Holy Rollers (Kevin Asch, 2010). Jesse Eisenberg in an indie about Hasidic youths smuggling drugs from Europe to NYC. Something like it really happened. Tricky blend of humor and coming-of-age stuff. (full review 6/25)

When Worlds Collide (Rudolph Maté, 1951). Crisp, colorful, really pretty good, as mankind races to build an ark-spaceship when another planet comes by.

The Last Man on Earth (Sidney Salkow, Ubaldo Ragona, 1964). Vincent Price as Richard Matheson’s omega person, and not a bad take on the material. Close precursor to Night of the Living Dead. And, by gum, also pretty Antonioniesque (shooting in Rome helps).

[Rec] (Jaume Balaguero, Paco Plaza, 2007). The sequel’s coming out, and I never saw this Spanish original. You can’t say they didn’t get the most out of a useful gimmick; there are some bona fide shocks in this thing.