Saturday, 11 August 2012

Before It Destroys Us

'It!' is a film from Herbert J Leder, the fellow who brought us ‘The Frozen Dead’. Like that film it has a knock out premise, but fails to fully deliver, although it provides a great source of entertainment along the way.
It! is basically a retelling of The Golem story. The Golem, if you recall, was a hugely strong, unstoppable man made magical monster built to protect the Jews of Prague. Sadly, his awesome power was misused and he had to be destroyed. I’m recounting it like it actually happened but, of course, it’s just a story.
In this update, the Golem is a pretty scary wooden sculpture which, having survived a warehouse fire without a singe mark comes to the attention of neurotic and downtrodden Roddy McDowall, who begins to use it to get to settle scores and get his own way.  It’s a bad move that can only end in a nuclear explosion, but then Roddy is already as mad as a hatter, given that he keeps his mothers dessicated corpse in a rocking chair and steals jewellery from the museum he works in to dress her up in.
Irritatingly, the film is shot at a pedestrian pace until it gets to the finale, at which point a lot of corners are cut at breakneck speed to provide us with a suitable ending. More urgency and some editing throughout could have given us a far more streamlined and exciting film but, nevertheless, it’s an interesting and unusual work enlivened by Roddy McDowall at his twitchiest and pretty Jill Haworth at her prettiest.

As a final note, I love these mock up newspapers that appear in the film. Great headlines, but they've forgotten to link them to any content.

Same here with this little lot. I wonder if the Government ever took that decision on development?

1 comment:

  1. I watched this for the first time in about 30 years last night, and agree completely with your comments about the insane pacing. And as a subeditor I was shouting at that "IS THE GOLEM A KILLER?" headline, since no newspaper sub on earth would let that through as four decks. It also struck me that it's basically a remake of Little Shop Of Horrors - creepy and slightly mad junior takes advantage of terrifying monster in order to settle some piffling work-related grudges while trying to impress a blatantly uninterested colleague; murder ensues...