Watched: February 18 2019

Director: Samuel Fuller

Starring: Peter Breck, Constance Towers, Gene Evans, James Best, Larry Tucker, Hari Rhodes, Paul Dubov

Year: 1963

Runtime: 1h 41min

shock

Source

Reporter Johnny Barrett (Breck) goes undercover as a patient in a mental hospital to solve a murder and win a Pulitzer. His girlfriend Cathy (Towers) is against it, but is finally pressured into acting as his sister to get him admitted for incestuous thoughts.

Shock2
“It’s not my fault, doc. She regularly shrinks down and seductively dances on my chest. How is a guy supposed to react to that?”

Source

Once inside, the ambitious reporter tries to make sense out of the three witnesses to the murder: Stuart (Best), a former soldier brainwashed by the Koreans into communism and then branded a traitor; Trent (Rhodes), an African American who imagines himself as a Ku Klux Klan member after a horrible time as one of the first black students in a segregated college; and Boden (Evans), a nuclear scientist whose guilty conscience regressed him to the mental state of a child.

Shock3
Interestingly, while the men’s ward has patients with a variety of fascinating problems, all the female patients suffer from the same affliction: zombieism nymphomania.

Source

With unreliable witnesses, dire circumstances and an opera singing “sidekick,” will Barrett solve the murder and win his prize? Or will he lose his mind, his girl and his career trying?

Shock4
“Your guess is as good as mine, ghost-and/or-racist-guy!”

Source

We loved Shock Corridor despite the fact that it features one of the worst reporters in the history of reporting. Seriously, each one of the stories he encounters from the patients he interviews is easily as interesting and important as the story he is chasing, but he is too focused on his goal to see it.

Shock5
Any personal history which led to this scenario would be Pulitzer worthy in our book

Source

The voice-over is very noiry, which we always enjoy, although we did feel like it made the movie a bit “tell, don’t show” at times. Still, we loved the dream sequences and how we could see what went on in the characters’ heads. We also loved the WTF choreography to Cathy’s striptease, the rainy corridor, and the backstories of all the patients. And we were glad that the horrible, horrible rape scene was portrayed as a nightmare rather than a dream…

Shock6
Though while we appreciate the aesthetics of such a scene, we are always left wondering who are the poor people tasked with cleaning up after?

Source

What we learned: Who defines insanity?

Next time: The Birds (1963)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s