After making this film, director Michael Powell, here working without regular co-director Emeric Pressburger, had to move to Australia, for no-one else would employ him. This is a somewhat extreme reaction, especially by today’s standards, as through the eyes of a 21st century film viewer there is nothing here to shock or frighten anyone, but back then the tale of a socially awkward young man filming women’s last moments as he kills them with a specially designed camera with a blade attached probably pushed boundaries beyond what the public was used to, though it was released the same year as Hitchcock’s Psycho.
Like his lead Mark, Powell focuses more on the reactions of the characters than on what they are experiencing, and the film is at times cold and passionless, yet Mark (Karlheinz Bohm) is a chilling, disturbing protagonist; an influence to fan Scorsese’s Travis Bickle, as well as Sex, Lies & Videotapes’ Graham, making this an adequate, if not necessarily exceptional, character thriller.
Choose film 7/10
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