Peeping Tom (1960)
Have heard absolutely wonderful things about this movie for practically my whole life, and it's a shame I never believed anybody enough to watch it sooner! This 1960 thriller shocked and angered British audiences upon its release (if only they knew what was to come...) and basically ruined the director's career because of all the frenzy. Of course, we all know now that it is a brilliant tale of a mild-mannered serial killer with daddy issues who uses a video camera to film his victims in their moment of death, impaling them in the neck with the sharp point of one of the tripod legs. Carl Boehm plays Mark Lewis, a delightful combination of compulsive murderer and shy, insecure man looking for companionship. Boehm's portrayal of Lewis is hard to get a read on sometimes, but I suppose that adds to the pathology of his character. I love the scene with Lewis and Helen's blind mother, and the character of Helen herself is also quite intriguing because of her immediate acceptance of Lewis, despite his social faults. Great movie!
Alexandra's Project (2003)Watched this movie on a whim one night and it was a delicious surprise. It's hard to talk about Alexandra's Project without revealing some key plot points that drive the movie. I can say that the movie is about a man named Steve, who on the night of his birthday comes home to find the house empty and a TV set up with a videotape that says "Play me." He starts watching it, expecting a nice birthday greeting from his family and instead it reveals things about his wife that he had no clue about. The movie is probably not for everyone. It's not all that exciting, but it's an interesting story told in an interesting way and is an intriguing character study - which is strange because we don't really know all that much about these two characters except what one says about the other. The actress playing Alexandra is very good, as she goes from a simple housewife to something completely different and unexpected by the end of the film.
Don't Torture a Duckling (1972)
If there is one part of the horror genre that I am completely ignorant about, it is giallo films. This Lucio Fulci film is probably the first one I've seen but if I want to call myself a true horror fan, I guess it can't be the last. Though a bit hard to follow at first, Don't Torture a Duckling soon kicks off with an interesting story and a very quirky set of characters/suspects in this whodunit tale of a small Italian village where several boys have been found murdered. Barbara Bouchet is perhaps the big name of the movie and she is quite beautiful, but I absolutely loved this Florinda Bolkan chick as the witch Maciara. She maybe doesn't look her best in the movie as she is usually pretty dirty and messed up, however, I couldn't help but be totally transfixed whenever she came on screen. She's gorgeous and sympathetic and a really wonderful actress. Kudos to her! With the reputation of giallo films (not from my own knowledge, of course, because I suck and have never seen any of them) I was expecting a lot more gore scenes, but there are only two in this movie and they definitely are not forgettable. First, Maciara is severely whipped with a chain by some townsmen who think she is the murderer. The gashes on her body that the chain create are very gruesome, even if they are a bit exaggerated. Second, and no doubt the best part of the whole movie, is the priest's death at the end, when he falls from a cliff. Yeah, that part was pretty awesome. Bring on the giallo! I want more!