Movie Diary 5/4/2022

Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer, 2013). We will be talking about this film on Saturday 5/7 at 2 pm Pacific Time part of Scarecrow Academy‘s “The Art in Sci-Fi: Science Fiction and the Director.” You have to watch the movie to attend, so: be afraid.

The Thing That Couldn’t Die (Will Cowan, 1958). You do not have to watch this movie, which will never be part of any academy. But it haunted my dreams in childhood, and although it contains much that is nonsensical, I can kind of understand the reaction. There’s a weird backlot ghostliness in some of Lucien Ballard’s outdoor photography, at a ranch where a dowser locates the severed head of a 16th-century English explorer, which still has some things to say and an urge to control people with its glowing eyes. It would very much like to be reunited with its body, which is buried somewhere else around the place. There are two B-movie starlets, Andra Martin, who seems to have something going on, and Carolyn Kearney, who does not. James Anderson does his thing as a greedy ranch hand, Jeffrey Stone (who had an interesting life) is a bohemian type (he wears sweatshirts and paints), William Reynolds (the rotten son in All That Heaven Allows) is the male lead, and Robin Hughes plays the revived corpse head, putting considerable oomph into the role.