Tuesday, 18 September 2012
Sound Small Screenery
The Deadly Tower stars Kurt Russell as notorious sniper killer Charles Whitman in a taut dramatisation of his clock tower rampage. Made for American TV this modest little feature sticks, as far as I can discern, to the facts of the terrible tragedy and this spartan almost documentary approach actually adds to the tension and brutality as Whitman's careful preparation soon turns into callous mass murder. Whitman's robotic character and lack of dialogue isn't exactly a demanding role but Russell does a decent enough job, much like the rest of the cast and despite the bare bones production there's plenty of atmosphere with a leaden dread giving way to the manic randomness of the slaughter.
John Carpenter's TV movie effort Someone's Watching Me is a psychological thriller about a woman endlessly stalked by a stranger after moving into a new apartment. Carpenter skillfully, carefully builds the tension as the besieged Lauren Hutton's torment escalates and violence becomes inevitable. The script is a bit workmanlike and the plot a little hackneyed (only after being retread for the past 30 years or so but there's plenty to enjoy here with Hutton putting in an excellent effort while Carpenter works his particular nerve jangling magic to excellent effect.