Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Tuesday's Overlooked Movie: Knife in the Darkness

The 72-minute episode of the TV series Cimarron Strip, released on VHS (in Finland as Kaupunki kauhun kourissa / The City in the Hands of Horror or some such nonsense; see photo) has some assets, some downsides.

The assets:
- the cleverish script by Harlan Ellison
- Bernard Herrmann's music, made especially for this episode, not Herrmann's best by a long shot, but still Herrmann
- Stuart Whitman in the lead, very young Tom Skerritt in a small but significant role

The downsides:
- the dire direction by Charles Rondeau
- too little violence or suspense

The biggest problem is that you pretty much guess what's going on after you've seen 10 or 15 minutes of it. In 1968 this must've been something.

Here's Marty McKee in a more detailed blog post about the same flick. More Overlooked Films here.


Todd Mason said...

I suspect it would've been Just OK, from your description, back then, too...though CIMARRON STRIP was one of the couple/few "90 minute" US tv western series (THE VIRGINIAN/THE MEN FROM SHILOH being another).

Juri said...

Definitely "just OK".

Anders E said...

Swedish TV has for some peculiar reason been showing this series on an irregular basis for a couple of years now. Some episodes are better than others and I recall this one had a very clever premise which could have been better executed.