Sunday, March 23, 2014

Never Take Candy From a Stranger and These are the Damned.

OHohoh! Two more flicks from British studio Hammer Film Productions. Both movies came on one DVD. The first: Never Take Candy From a Stranger (British title: Never Take Sweets From a Stranger). Very well done! The acting is spot on. Unbelievably suspenseful. The trailer is quite clever too.

Interesting handling of subject matter ahead of its time. The Canadian court room scenes are so intense. 

This movie comes right out swinging. Nothing could be better than. The Carter family move to a new town to accept Mr. Carter's new position of school principal. The good times come to a screeching halt when Jean and her friend Lucille visit Mr. Olderberry Sr for "free" candy.  What seems like a slam dunk case against a pedophile, ends up with practically the entire town shunning the Carter family; the writing is on the wall - Drop the case. 

Even though Jean's parents are behind her on the case, the drop all charges. They don't really have a choice. As predicted by Mr. Olderberry Jr., the prosecuting attorney chews Jean up and spits her out. Jean's parents feel it is just too much for her and pull the plug. 

The entire town turns a blind eye and blames the girls, meanwhile Mr. Carter resigns and the family plans to move. But wait….there's more…

Don't let the movie post fool you; this film is a must see! Talk about an art house poster child! It's sci-fi lite, it's surreal, it's teen rebellion, it's a government conspiracy and it all comes together is a desperate escape attempt. Oh, and it has about the coolest opening theme song ever.

Hands down, this is one of my fav images from the movie. The ever dashing Oliver Reed stars as Teddy Boy King who uses his lovely sister Joan to lure tourist to back alley ways to be mugged. 

This film is loaded with fantastic camera work. Very interesting camera angles employed though out. 

To be quite honest, I'd rather watch a black and white film than today's digital gagas. Ugh. When I watch a film in a theater proper it just looks, well, too proper. Black and white seems to caress shadows and texture making them both seem slightly other worldly. 

There's no happy ending here. Again, I love a film that doesn't wrap everyone in a nice happy bow. 

A Clockwork Orange came 10 years or so years later, but there is clear influence from this film. King and his Teddy Boy cronies are a precursor to Alex and his Droogs. Both groups wear hats, King/Alex walk around with a cane/umbrella, and they aren't a nice lot. In both films there's a sculptress whose work is trashed. 

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