Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Night Tide (1961, Curtis Harrington)


Night Tide may be more of a psychological horror thriller than a supernatural one, and yet it operates as both quite well. This is a tightly paced film that still has wonderfully lyrical and also eerie moments, often within minutes of each other. Dennis Hopper is a lonely sailor desperate for love and companionship, this settling on a woman that may be a mermaid. Or thinks she’s a mermaid. Well she plays one at the local carnival, anyways.

Linda Lawson is the alluring and mysterious woman Mora, who may or may not have killed her previous lovers. Hopper’s Johnny learns of this, yet in typical horror movie fashion he doesn’t believe it and he continues to see her. Love sure is blind. There is a dream sequence that looks even more fantastic in the movie’s black and white cinematography, and that sequence leads into an ocean scene that is pure 1950s melodrama.

While the movie probably could have been longer, oddly enough, Harrington was limited by his budget and he smartly wraps up the picture under 90 minutes. Parts of Night Tide definitely had to have been an influence on The Lighthouse, and I’ll be thinking about this one for quite a while even if I didn’t give the movie a perfect score. Harrington’s early 1960s movie, much like Cat Peope and Carnival of Souls, offers up people haunted by a past that endangers their future. I would love to see the ocean at night, as long as I don’t stare too hard into those black, deep waves…

Horrorfest 2018 Presents: Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986, Tobe Hooper)


My Halloween night was rather busy for someone who decided to stay in. I watched a couple flicks to start the day, then began drinking around 4 or 5. I spent a couple hours handing out candy to a bunch of trick or treaters until 8:30, while also viewing Hot Fuzz with a friend who had never seen it before. So when I made it upstairs to watch The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, I was tired and ready to pass out, which I did. Only to wake up at 2 in the morning annoyed and thirsty. I grabbed some brews and put on my copy of Tobe Hooper’s cult classic sequel, which I found on blu ray at Best Buy earlier that month, and hit play.

Although this flick does not live up to the original classic, it is still a fun gory time. Dennis Hopper is an excellent choice as Lefty, the Texas lawman who desires revenge against the infamous Sawyer clan. Aiding him is rock DJ Vanita, played by the awesome Caroline Williams. However Bill Moseley steals the movie as Brick Top, in an equal parts creepy and funny performance. It also helps that Hooper came back to helm this one, as it follows the events of the original a decade later. 

Thus my Horrorfest was concluded with a good solid slasher film, which is fitting considering how much I love the genre at this point. Also all of my four Halloween viewings were physical media ones, in contrast to my usual large use of streaming these days. Check out TCM 2, a late happy Halloween to all, and a see you all for Horrorfest 2019.

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