Wednesday, 5 December 2012

British '78s

Richard Burton stars in the curious British paranormal chilller The Medusa Touch from 1978. The chronologically jumbled narrative follows a detective’s investigation into the attempted murder of a man who’s witnessed a few too many tragedies but perhaps unsurprisingly a far darker truth is slowly revealed. This is a low budget curio which, despite some of it’s frippery, musters an effective brooding atmosphere that ticks along nicely towards a suitably grim finale and of course It does help to have Burton in the centre of the piece exuding a smouldering menace that far outweighs his screen time. Understated & underrated.

Shape shifting aliens, cannibalism & lesbians feature in Prey, another British horror from ‘78 that, although quite ridiculous, has a potent, dreamlike atmosphere that masks most of it’s shortcomings. On arrival to Earth the alien adopts human form and infiltrates a nearby mansion only to loaf about for days winding up the squabbling lovers that live there – so far so idiotic and though the script  is half baked and the acting, er, shit it somehow kind of works. There’s some nice directorial touches but I guess it was the sheer weight of all that strangeness that kept me watching to it’s baffling denouement. Probably just for aficionados of cult crap but there’s enough here to justify a remake,

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