Sunday, 15 April 2012

Saraband For Dead Lovers

'Neither The Sea Nor The Sand' is a very odd thing, a sort of Mills and Boon Gothic zombie fantasy. Written by newreader Gordon Honeycombe, and from the Tigon studio, it has its moments but is terribly uneven, although the scenery (it was filmed in Jersey) is quite incredible.

Annabel and Hugh are desperately in love. When he dies suddenly, she refuses to believe that he would ever leave her. He obviously can't take it either, so he comes back. Really. No pulse, mute, obviously decaying, he shuffles around, staring at Annabel as if she's the only thing that can keep him from the beyond. After a while, and once the reanimated Hugh has murdered his God botherer brother, it becomes clear that this situation can't go on indefinitely - Hugh will have to die again, and Annabel will have to decide whether to join him.

A sombre, sad little film, it has basic elements of a very creepy fairy tale, although this is undercut somewhat by some risible dialogue and some awful music. I only wish it was more experimental and dreamlike - it might have been something special rather than simply a difficult to classify curio.


  1. "difficult to classify" indeed. I must admit to being horribly creeped-out by this one the first time I watched it, and the feeling stayed with me for days. The moment where Susan Hampshire realises that her miraculously returned lover is in fact a putrefying, walking corpse, disturbed the hell out of me.
    Something about the odd atmosphere of the film brought back golden memories of an unpleasant childhood illness. Happy days, spent delirious on powerful medication.

    However; I do blame it for inspiring me to read 200 Barbara Cartland novels, in the futile expectation of discovering more undead themed haunted love tales.

  2. That's an excellent description! It reminded me a lot of some of the DC/Charlton horror titles - they always had loads of stories about drowned sailors coming home covered in seaweed. I remember having hooping cough in 1975, sat outside in the garden reading a 'The Deadly Hands Of Kung Fu' comic. Happy days.

  3. Brilliant film and yes a deeply sad and unnerving vibe