Monday, December 05, 2011

NIGHT TIDE (1961) - Curtis Harrington

"Johnny Drake"

A nascent stage Hopper in his first starring role playing a Navy boy on shore leave who falls in love with the Mermaid act at the Santa Monica pier. But is she a real mermaid, a murderous sea siren plotting to do him in? Or has she just gotten a bad wrap?

This is Dennis before he became "Dennis." While it's diverting to see cinema's wild man playing wide-eyed and naive, this film's kind of a slow drag. Think Splash by way of Rod Serling but less interesting than that might sound. You're hoping for one of the Chesterfields Johnny's constantly smoking to be laced, just to get a just a small glimmer of the unhinged Hopper we'll come to know and love. No such luck. Johnny's a square, man. And the love of his life is blander than Starkist Tuna unfortunately.

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