Monday, July 28, 2014

Stark Fear (1962)

Directors: Ned Hockman, Skip Homeier

Writer: Dwight V. Swain

Composer: Lawrence V. Fisher

Starring: Beverly Garland, Skip Homeier, Kenneth Tobey, Hannah Stone, George Clow, Paul Scovil, Edna Neuman, John Arville, Bruce Palmer, Carey Mount, Cartez Ewing, Robert Stone, Barbara Freeman, Darlene Dana Reno, Joseph Benton

More info: IMDb

Tagline: A NEW Kind of Suspense

Plot:  A sadistic husband mentally tortures his wife, while eventually planning to murder her. Although no one believes her, she gets help from an unexpected source.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? No.

This is the last film featured in the excellent DVD set from Something Weird Video called WEIRD-NOIR.  It's more drama than noir but it's got something that I think is worth watching for students of film.  It's a rape scene but it's not just the rape scene but more of the several scenes that lead up to it.  And it's not like it's titillating or anything.  It's far from it but it's so well handled that it's truly horrific and one of the most startling rape scenes I've seen and even more so because it's more than fifty years old.  You really feel bad for the gal not only for that but she seems to come across bad men left and right.  Being how it's from the sixties you probably know if it's going to end well or poorly for Ellen (Garland).  I was pleased with the ending although some are going to see it as a cheesy sellout.  I'm OK with it.  The performances are pretty good but the problems with the film stem from getting bogged down into too much melodrama which leads to drag.  Other than that, it's not that bad and it's at least worth a look.  Now that I've finished the two-disc SWV Weird-Noir set, I can say with certainty that it's a solid thumbs up.  You can pick it up for less than fifteen bucks if you look hard enough.  Of the six films, at least half are definite re-watches and alone make the set worth buying.

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