OOM #26 – The Night Walker (1964)

Basement dwellers, horrific creatures and horror fans alike, welcome once again to another day, one of the most horrific days, the days before the end of October, before the apparition of Halloween, the anxieties of turning a corner and finding yourself looking at a monster, an horrific bloody crime or even worse: delinquents. The moments approach and I don’t have a costume for my night party, what can I do? Maybe I can take some inspiration from the movie of today, or even some of the other movies that we’ve seen this year at this October Overlook Madness, what do you guys think? What should I be? Take a look at the movies and see what’s out there. One thing: I won’t do Pennywise, it’s just too much work to dye my hair and all.

So, the movie that we are going to see today is directed by William Castle, one of my favorite and underrated directors, director of films as great as ‘The Tingler’ (1959) and ‘House on Haunted Hill’ (1959), maybe the most gimmicky and at the same time most known films of his. This is an obscure film, and as part of his filmography it is a strange one, apparently it has not gimmick in sight. The film is part of this year’s random-as-fuck Cinemassacre’s Monster Madness, where James speaks about this movie and decries a fault, it’s not on DVD! You can watch his video here and read my review below.

Now I know what the gimmick is! Psychology! Maybe it was in some kind of rage at the time, since this is the same year as the biopic of Freud was initially released, but this movie features heavy symbols and the world of the mind as well as the dreams as ways of portraying the ideas and then the mental breakdown of a woman. The film starts with a weird couple, a blind scientist and what seems to be a somewhat successful woman that can’t leave her house due to the commanding presence of her husband, she has a beauty shop and she can’t even attend it since she spends all of her time right beside a man who abuses her and at times ignores her, even though he is obsessed with the idea that she is being unfaithful to him due to his age and his condition.

The film takes an early turn when the scientist dies in a big explosion and everything is now in her hands, that’s when she starts to have strange and vivid dreams (au contraire to those that she usually had) where she goes around with a big handsome young man, and others were the presence of his late husband scares her with his scarred face and commanding arms looking for her figure. She has big talks with people who recommend that she has some kind of therapy done to her so she can understand what these dreams really mean and what is behind them, but is it really dreams or is there something deeper and more malevolent to the nightmares that she experiences? Accompanied by some interesting cinematography, as well as an interesting prologue, and surely some creepy imagery starring mannequins, this movie is a blast to watch, from start to finish, because of the turns and how crazy it goes.

It’s classic William Castle, and here the performers show themselves as the most interesting part of the film. Also, what a poster!

8/10

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