Monday, October 19, 2009

Bad Movie Society - Peeping Tom

I thought only students and teachers had Columbus Day off; I never knew postal workers did too! Unfortunately, that meant we couldn't watch Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer on Wednesday. Instead, we watched Michael Powell's Peeping Tom (1960). Too bad because it wasn't scary or even very engaging.

How was I supposed to know?! It got the Criterion treatment, and I heard critics refer to it as the British Psycho. In Peeping Tom, Mark (Karlheinz Bohm) gets his kicks by filming women, killing them, and then watching his footage. He connects with Helen (Anna Massey), but their connection cannot save him. He continues killing and spiraling out of control until the climactic end.

So voyeurism used to be scary, but it isn't anymore, or maybe I'm too much of a voyeur to have a proper perspective on the topic. This movie has no nudity, no gore, no hardened violence, and that's a problem. I've talked about the power of suggestion/ subtlety in horror movies before, but a few home movie clips of a tormented youth hardly build tension. If you remember back to Psycho, we know Norman is fucked because he's talking to his corpse-mom. All we know about Mark is that his childhood sucked, and now he likes to take home movies. Where I come from, people with this problem listen to Mineral or the rawest of black metal and pick up Livejournaling. The makers of this film should have put less stake in their philosophy books. My friend Chris, horror-movie fan numero uno, agrees. We talked about it at Cro-Mags a little before the Clockwork Orange theme kicked in.

1 comment:

Todd said...

Yeah right this movie is really weird and awesome!