Directed by Curtis Harrington • 1967
Newlywed socialites James Caan and Katharine Ross sure like them some games: their Manhattan brownstone is littered with Pop Art and pinball machines. (Their chic lifestyle was loosely based on the marriage of Harrington’s friends Dennis Hopper and Brooke Hayward.) But this couple is hardly prepared when exotic enchantress and traveling cosmetics saleswoman Simone Signoret proposes some new games that prove kinkier than pinochle. Occult rituals, mummification, and murder are all on the menu for this threesome in this widescreen, Day-Glo freak show from macabre master Curtis Harrington. After a quartet of avant-garde psychodramas, the dreamy independent feature Night Tide, and a quickie for Roger Corman cobbled together from Soviet sci-fi stock footage, Harrington finally had a chance to realize his boyhood dream of making a bona fide Universal monster movie. (He also managed to sneak in a cameo for his cat.) (KW)
100 min • Universal Pictures • 35mm from Universal
Preceded by: “Puce Moment” (Kenneth Anger, 1949) – 16mm – 6 min – Courtesy Canyon Cinema
“The Wormwood Star” (C. Harrington, 1955) – 16mm – 10 min – Courtesy Academy Film Archive
Co-presented by Drag City, publishers of Curtis Harrington’s posthumous memoir Nice Guys Don’t Work in Hollywood.