Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Dead Don't Die

The Dead Don't Die (1.14.75) is another Curtis Harrington treat- a tribute to film noir with a script written by Robert Bloch based on his short story.
Set in 1934, George Hamilton plays Don Drake, a man trying to clear the name of his brother, executed after being accused of killing his wife.

There's dance marathons and zombies- the Hatian kind rather than the flesh eating kind.

Harrington and Bloch had to have been having fun playing with the conventions of the genre with a supernatural twist.  There's the mysterious woman.  A shop with a secret.  The boss behind it all.  Heck, Drake's brother is executed by the electric chair and they even call it "old sparky" and there are shots of lamps dimming.

Here's another wonder when watching it in the Future World of 2015:  In 1975, there would have been people watching it who would have remember 1934 from their childhoods.  In fact, 1975 is only slightly further removed from 1934 than 2015 is from 1975.  I think I hurt my brain.

But, as a member of what Orson Welles' "new Hollywood" (from the unfinished The Other Side of the Wind), it's clear to see Harrington's love of the Old Hollywood in this movie.

(One last thing:  Boy, George Hamilton was tan.  Really, really tan.  Like, tanner than everyone else in the movie.  It's almost disconcerting.)