Search This Blog

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Screaming Mimi (1958)

While taking a shower, a dancer (Anita Ekberg) is attacked with a knife by a madman but saved when her stepbrother (Romney Brent) shoots him. The experience, however, traumatizes her to the extent that she's sent to a mental hospital where a psychiatrist (Harry Townes) becomes obsessed with her to the point of taking over her life. When she's released, she changes her identity but when a series of knife killings begin, she begins to unravel. Based on the novel by Fredric Brown (which Dario Argento would later use as the basis of his BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE) and directed by Gerd Oswald, the film is a minor pulp gem. By turns tawdry and affecting, the film can't help but recall the Sam Fuller masterpieces that would follow like SHOCK CORRIDOR and NAKED KISS. No, not in their class but the same "brothers under the skin" feeling. Ekberg, in her best performance until LA DOLCE VITA, is surprisingly good but she doesn't have much to play off in her scenes with the generic Philip Carey as the newspaperman attempting to solve the knife killings. There's no credit for the score since it's been adapted without credit from Leonard Bernstein's Oscar nominated score to ON THE WATERFRONT. With Gypsy Rose Lee as a lesbian stripper running a dive called The Madhouse, Vaughn Taylor and Betsy Jones Moreland.

No comments:

Post a Comment