Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Sentinel (1977)

Director: Michael Winner

Starring: Cristina Raines, Chris Sarandon, Martin Balsam, John Carradine, Jose Ferrer, Ava Gardner, Arthur Kennedy, Burgess Meredith, Sylvia Miles, Eli Wallach, Christopher Walken, Jerry Orbach, Beverly D'Angelo, Tom Berenger, William Hickey, Jeff Goldblum

More info: IMDb

Tagline: She was young. She was beautiful. She was next!

Plot: Model Alison Parker (Cristina Raines) gets a great deal on a Brooklyn, N.Y., apartment -- but there's just one catch: It's also the gateway to Hell, and she's on the invite list.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? Probably not.

#154 on Drive-In Delirium Volume 2 (part of the TRAILER TRASH PROJECT)

The cast list alone should be all you need to want to watch it, oh, and that it's directed by Michael Winner who, three years earlier, directed DEATH WISH! That was enough for me. Most of the cast are cameos or extended cameos but it's awfully fun seeing many of them at a very early stage in their career. It's a pretty good movie, too. You can't help but feel a certain ROSEMARY'S BABY (1968) vibe with the whole apartment thing (especially when you've got a dream (?) sequence with a great deal of nudity - ever want to see Beverly's D'Angelos?). There are a few places you might think this is going and you'd be wrong.

There's some pretty random, wacky shit. Take the scene where D'Angelo masturbates in front of Raines! WTF? Yeah, I know.

The acting by Sarandon is really stiff and monotoned. Burgess Meredith seems to be channeling Ruth Gordon from ROSEMARY'S BABY but that's OK 'cause he's always fun to watch and it fits his character too well.

Gil Melle's score worked nicely and the ending was satisfying. I'm not sure exactly what it was but it felt like the movie needed something...maybe it was a better performance by Sarandon (or someone different altogether). While I enjoyed the picture OK, it's not that good that I'll probably ever want to see it again. There's just far too much out there begging to be the next one to watch. And that next one? Ugh. MONKEY HU$TLE (1976).

UPDATE: I just noticed this is my 666th post. Nice!

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