Crazy title, huh. maybe it’s an homage to Charles Laughton’s masterpiece Night Of The Hunter, I would think so. Anyway this film is worth checking out, so full of the cinepoetics that only Jean Rollin could create. A lot of nudity, a lot of violence, and an underlying Romanticism in the face of Ultra Nihilism. Made for very little money, shot in a few locations, but full of ideas, images, imagination. The opening is a bit like Aldrich’s Kiss Me Deadly and the end is like nothing else. It’s sort of a modern Zombie movie sans brain eating. There is a sequence towards the end that is referencing the Holocaust, set in a train yard, a great location. Two guard/executioners consider a girl sent to them for extermination. ” This one’s still alive. I can’t do it.” “She’s as good as dead.” ” Let’s watch her and see what she does. “I am reminded in a way of the Japanese Pink Violence films. The producers said to the filmmakers, ” You can do anything as long as the film has so much nudity and violence. ” Rollin did the same, his nod to commercialism was the nudity and violence his films are full of. But I think he loved those elements as well. He truly dug his genre and he imbuded his creations with a wonderful, personal poetry. Jean Rollin it’s a shame you’re dead, I would write you a fan letter. It is amazing that you got to make these atmospheric films for so many years, a triumph of the human spirit. Bravo! And it’s on Netflix Streaming!
No, not the movie about ballet dancers, this one is from 1952 and is all about crime, corruption and the law. It’s funny how things intersect on the Great Plains of Life, I have been thinking a lot about George Tomasini, the film editor. This guy was one of the all time greats, look at his IMDB page almost every film he did is a classic!
The Great Cutter! George Tomasini!
He worked in many genres and they all came out great, his fantasy work with George Pal, The Time Machine, The Seven Faces Of Dr. Lao, Houdini. All great. I was watching Cape Fear with Robert Mitchum and Gregory Peck, end credits roll, edited by George Tomasini. Plus he edited a major share of Hitchcock’s Hollywood output. Everything from Rear Window to The Birds, including Psycho with it’s famous shower scene. Anyway I will one day soon write a piece just about George. So when I checked out Mr. Tomasini’s IMDB page I saw a film listed I had not seen, The Turning Point. I thought, ” I’ll have to check that out one of these days.” Then I was cruising around the internet and ran into a blog about Bunker Hill, On Bunker Hill, this site features great images of the old neighborhood that stood just north of downtown before it was demolished. A real dreamscape used as backgrounds by many film noir masters. I then found a link to Angel’s Flight Goes To The Movies, and there was A Turning Point! Then to top it off it’s on Netflix streaming! So I checked it out. Directed by super talented William Dieterle, the man behind such classics as The Devil and Daniel Webster, and Portrait of Jennie, this is a really well written story, excellently paced by Tomasini, it has some incredible scenes, including one of the best assassinations ever filmed. A crooked cop trying to do right is set up for a hit, and the shooter is then shot by two truck driving killers(one of whom is the Professor from Gilligan’s Island). There’s a lot of great location photography all over Bunker Hill.
And a climactic scene at what I think is the old Olympic auditorium, a boxing match featuring an appearance by the second most decorated veteran of WWII, Neville Brand.
This was two years after D.O.A. where Brand tortured Edmond O’Brien, Edmond is sort of the star of The Turning Point but really it’s William Holden. Check this gem out, great writing, directing and editing and all on Netflix streaming!
Maestro Of Psychic Cinema! William Dieterle