Alfred Hitchcock is one of the movie world’s great directors with a body of work that easily speaks for itself. He’s certainly one of my favorites. This fan made video presents many of his techniques and visual themes spanning his entire output. While it doesn’t spell it out you can ready an accompanying essay here. The video is a fascinating glimpse into both movie making and Hitch’s psyche.
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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.
The problem with older classic movies like this is that you likely have already heard about them and the major plot twists long before you actually saw it. Sadly, I was familiar with the 1998 Busta Rhymes song “Gimme Some More” which samples the classic “Psycho” strings score long before I had seen the movie.
Psycho was actually the first Hitchcock movie I ever saw…and I didn’t like it. I expected it to be a horror movie or at least be pretty scary based on its reputation (especially the love it gets around Halloween) and I was let down. It wasn’t until a movie mentor of mine explained about Hitch being the master of suspense, not horror that it started to make sense to me. After watching a few of his other movies and then going back to Psycho made me love it and understand why it belongs on the upper echelon of Hitchcock films.
I’m assuming everyone who wants to read this has already seen the movie so I won’t waste much time on the plot, but rather my opinions and observations. So if you haven’t seen it, turn back now or forever hold your peace.