Scoff Not!

Movie night!

You’ve been waiting for this.

Well, here it is; CURSE OF THE DEMON (1957).

I hear scoffing.

Scoff not.

This is a lively and relatively scary flick. Oh, I grant the actual sight of the monster at the end of the flick is unnecessary and pretty cheesy, but all the subplots, setup and framing are pretty intriguing.

Plus, it’s directed by Jacques Tourneur. Most of us know and revere Mr. Tourneur’s work with producer Val Lewton. Films such as;

  • CAT PEOPLE. This is the original with the Simone Simon, the sexiest fully-clothed actress I know. This is a movie that did not have to be remade. They got it right the first time. The swimming pool scene is terrifying, yet… I better stop there – talk about a spoiler alert.
  • THE LEOPARD MAN. The scene walking from streetlight to streetlight is exquisite.
  • I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE. I hear more scoffing at the title. Stop it. Now. You could not be more wrong. This is a voodoo rendering of JANE EYRE and mesmerizing to watch. (Though the appearance of Sir Lancelot, the calypso troubadour is a bit incomprehensible).

Mr. Tourneur also directed the noir classic OUT OF THE PAST with Robert Mitchum. That alone is cred for a lifetime.

Tonight’s flick features a fine, plausible performance by Dana Andrews and a very nice turn by Niall MacGinnis. MacGinnis will always have warm place in my heart for his performances as “Zeus” in JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS (God bless those sword-slingin’ skeletons) and “Friar Tuck” in SWORD OF SHERWOOD FOREST (any friend of Robin Hood…).

CURSE OF THE DEMON – it has séances, mysterious storms, hypnotism, curses written on parchment, trains, planes and automobiles in Britain. All the basic food groups.

Scoff not! Lest…

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