Since we are in the midst of the Halloween season I figured I’d take a look at a more horror themed movie in today’s Pulp Corner. The movie in question is 1957’s Night Of The Demon also known as Curse Of The Demon to most U.S. audiences (which stripped away 13 minutes of footage). It’s a mix of suspense and noir which itself isn’t unique, but here it’s the overt addition of horror and the occult that really make it an interesting film.
The film stars two noir alums, Dana Andrews and Peggy Cummins. Andrews we last saw in the Pulp Corner as the detective obsessed with a dead woman, in Laura. Ms. Cummins on the other hand was the devious and angry femme fatale of Gun Crazy making up one half of the Bonnie & Clyde like duo. The masterstroke though was that this movie was in the hands of one of the greatest noir directors, Jacques Tourneur. His signature picture Out Of The Past oozes noir and atmosphere. A perfect fit for Night Of The Demon.
Film Noir comes in many different styles and movie conventions with the foremost usually being crime and mystery. In the past I never would have considered that to be a favorite of mine but in the last few years it’s been such a foundation of the movies I’ve watched and the books I’ve read that I’ve come to accept it for what it is. When it comes to mysteries in film noir sometimes they make the movie work and sometimes they are just the means to an end without comprising the quality of the film.
Recently, I finally got around to watching ‘Laura’ the 1944 movie directed by Otto Preminger. It’s been one of those highly regarded noirs that I’ve heard about for years but hadn’t had the chance to watch. The title character played by Gene Tierney is dead before the movie begins and it’s only through flashbacks (a noir staple) that we piece together her story.