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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Straight On Till Morning (1972)

A homely girl (Rita Tushingham) leaves her home in Liverpool to go live in London where she hopes to meet a man who will get her pregnant. But the man (Shane Briant) she meets is a psychopath and a serial killer. He despises beauty and is attracted to her precisely because she is plain looking. Will she find out his secret in time? By the early 1970s, Hammer films had begun to move toward more diverse "horror" fare than the period horror films that had made its reputation. This film is pretty twisted. We know from the outset that the androgynous "pretty boy" is a murderer so the suspense comes from waiting for her to find out and how she will react and if she will be able to get away from him. The film's ending is ambiguous enough that we don't know her fate. Unfortunately, the effete Briant is a big zero and repulsive enough that you wonder why she doesn't go screaming in the other direction. But the film makes you squirm but not in a good way and the most truly horrifying moment in the film (there's a similar moment in KLUTE) is hard to take. Directed by Peter Collinson (THE ITALIAN JOB). With the jazz singer Annie Ross (who also sings the title song), Tom Bell, James Bolam and Katya Wyeth.

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