Pretty Poison

February 25, 2016 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS | 0 Comments |

(Dir. Noel Black) (1968)

It starts like a pilot for Psycho II…Norman…er, Dennis (Anthony Perkins), is making a new life as an inspector on an assembly line in Shanty-town, rehabilitating himself after life as a rapist/psycho/firebug.

Dennis has got some mad, grand, plan, and he is innocent, I swear he is, he didn’t know his Aunt was in that house he burnt, but whilst he is clearly too old for trim blonde cutie, Sue Ann (Tuesday Weld), he is not too mad: for she is a match for him, and more!

David Shipman, a highly perceptive critic, suggested that Weld (the key role here) “was superb, in a difficult part, that of a completely amoral girl goading on Tony Perkins, and not averse to a little matricide herself…she was able to suggest both a cherubic innocence of spirit and a satanic enjoyment of evil for its own sake.”

This subtle, insinuating film was grafted from a novel by Stephen Geller, called, divinely, She Let Him Continue.  “What a week!  I met you on Monday, fell in love with you on Tuesday, Wednesday I was unfaithful, Thursday we killed a guy together…how ’bout that for a crazy week, Sue Ann?”  (Well, how about rounding things out with a little matricide?)  I think they’re really consummated now!!  And Sue Ann can’t promise anything, except that where it comes to sociopathy, there’s equality between the sexes.

“Psychopaths always get caught! They never know when to stop.”


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