Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Nightmare Manhunt

'Never Take Sweets (Candy) From A Stranger' is a brave attempt by Hammer to tackle the issue of paedophilia in a time where the stereotype of the 'dirty old man' was still a running joke. It's a pretty talky, stagey effort for the most part but the discussion is bookended by two sequences that are extraordinarily dramatic without ever being explicit, the innocent play of two young girls unknowingly under the observation of a clearly deranged sexual predator. These scenes unfold like a twisted latter day fairy tale and make for pretty unsettling viewing, even by today's standards. 

The third generation fuzzy black and greys of my old VHS copy (see screenshots below) only add to the discomfort. It's recently been re-released on DVD, by the way. I won't be buying one. 

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