Crime

Two 90’s Hitchcockian thrillers; “Shattered” and “Final Analysis”

There’s a word you can look up on Wikipedia; Hitchcockian. Meaning; “Hitchcockian films are those made by various filmmakers, with the styles and themes similar to those of Alfred Hitchcock”. The master of suspense’s influence cannot be underestimated, and I doubt many filmmakers had as great an effect on the film industry (this is of course debatable). His filmography is huge and filled with classics in the suspense genre. Not a calendar year goes by without me visiting at least a few of the master’s films. Then there are also a few Hitchcockian thrillers that I’m quite fond of and I’d like to cast a light on two fairly forgotten titles. They’re both early 90’s flicks, definitely Hitchcock inspired and set in San Francisco.

The Deliberate Stranger (1986)

One of the most notorious serial killers in history was the subject of this two part miniseries that aired in May 1986. A big part of the movie’s success is thanks to Mark Harmon’s alarmingly good performance as Bundy. The relaxed runtime also helps in showing just how much ground Bundy covered…

Jack the Ripper (1988)

The mystery surrounding Jack the Ripper and his killing spree has fascinated amateur sleuths as well as bona fide detectives for well over a century. Much of said mystery stems from the fact that the killer was never caught and many theories have emerged as to his identity. The theory presented here is very well pieced together, very entertaining to watch unfold and certainly a juicy piece of conspiracy theory for those interested in the English elite in the 19th century.

1922 (2017)

It’s the year 1922; Farmer Wilfred James works the land in Hemingford, Nebraska with his son Henry and is proud of his way of life. His wife Arlette has never taken to the farming life and she’s the owner of the land and intends to sell it for a large amount of money. Wilfred then plans to murder Arlette and convinces his son to aid him in this deed.

Resurrection (1999)

“Resurrection” is a stylish thriller that practically never stood a chance, as it seems, with either critics or the general public as it was pigeonholed as a copycat of David Fincher’s “Se7en”. It played in theatres in some European countries but was relegated to Video in most other territories. That’s a shame since it really is a worthwhile flick in most respects.

Ten Little Indians x4

Dame Agatha Christie’s 1939 novel “Ten Little Indians” (which initial title was quite edgy (and it’s easy to google) and quickly changed to “And Then There Were None” when it was published in the US in 1940) is one of the Queen of Suspense’s most enduring piece of literature. It’s a remarkably grim novel whose basic plot has been imitated countless times and undoubtedly will continue to inspire more works for the unforeseeable future. In the 20th century there were four English speaking film adaptations of the novel produced in 1945, 1965, 1974 and 1989 that greeted audiences but there was one fact that not everyone knows that tied all the films together in a peculiar way that differed from the novel. When the novel was adapted for the stage Dame Agatha herself changed the ending and altered the plot slightly. No doubt a reason for this was partly to let theater patrons depart on a slightly happier note but also some key things would have been very difficult to realize on stage that is much easier to communicate in a novel. The following film versions were all adapted from Christie’s stage version and so they did not faithfully adhere to the nihilistic tone that so distinguishes the novel from the rest of her work.

Carpenter Trilogy

My favourite director is John Carpenter and I’ve spent an un-Godly amount of time devouring his work for more than 30 years. I’ve been rather hesitant at sharing my thoughts on his films on my blog as so much has been written about them and they’ve been fairly well dissected by many. But what the heck! I recently got into a Carpenter mood and viewed three of his early features and wanted to write a few things down.
My personal favourite of his is “The Fog”. It’s not what I consider his best work as I think “The Thing” is his crowning achievement. The one I’ve viewed most often is “Halloween” and the whole Michael Myers franchise is a big part of why horror/slasher films got a hold of me early on and have kept me interested for all these years.
These three early features by Carpenter are movies I revisit regularly and think very highly of.

Murder by Death (1976)

Eccentric millionaire Lionel Twain invites five of the most renowned and respected detectives in the world to his isolated mansion for a dinner and a murder. Greeting them is blind butler Bensonmum who only receives help from a hired deaf/mute maid who has a long list of things she doesn’t do; among them cooking. Before the night is over Twain promises that a murder will occur and the five best sleuths will be completely stumped.

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The Flock (2007)

“The Flock” is an interesting film dealing with a difficult subject matter but it wasn’t widely released and went relatively unnoticed and has, thus, become something of a cult item that I would like to throw some spotlight on.

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