Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Night Walker (1964)

I recently took a walk down memory lane and re-watched the William Castle film THE NIGHT WALKER. It was a favorite of mine from way back in the day and I remember catching it on TV from time to time and loving the heck out of it. The music, the strange plot and the cinematography were just a lot of fun. I have to say I was happy with the re-watch.

The Night Walker stars Babara Stanwyck as the wife of a blind....scientist? played by Hayden Rorke of I Dream of Jeanie fame. It seems old Mr. Trent thinks that his wife Irene has a lover that she's messing about with behind his back. He's sure that her night dream talking is a product of their romance and brings in his lawyer Barry Morland (Robert Taylor) to help him sort it out. Is he there to help or does he, in fact, have eyes for Irene? All very black and white drama goodness...until Howard Trent is blown up in his lab.

Irene is sad for her loss, but happy not to face the daily pressures and watchful, cold dead eyes her husband had put on her 24 hours a day. But, will he stay gone? Is that tap...tap...tap of his cane merely a nightmare...or has he returned?

Oh, great old stuff. :::grin:::

The music was composed by the great Vic Mizzy who worked on other classic themes like THE ADDAMS FAMILY, THE GHOST AND MR. CHICKEN and THE RELUCTANT ASTRONAUT.  It has that hook filled goodness I love about his work. You find yourself whistling and humming the tune as you're walking around. 

Now, this is rather dated, mind you. The story is very 60s and the acting follows suit - a very 60s feel to the whole of it. But, it has a charm to it and an innocence that I love. It's a Castle film, but it doesn't have the same "SIZZLE" as some of this other films had. The poster sure does, however. Needless to say, NONE of what is seen there is in the film save the small picture of Stanwyck and Taylor in the bottom left! LOL!

The core of the film is a mystery and not really horror, but there are some horrifying scenes in it for sure. This one is ideal for younger viewers who may like a little scare, but don't want to see too much gore or violence.

And this one tops the list of films I'd love to see properly remade. I kinda wish Dark Castle Entertainment picked this up and did something with it like they managed with 13 GHOSTS and HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL - I thought they were a lot of fun. Though, I'd like to see it played in a very serious way - maybe in a period style (though cost would stop that) or updated properly with the likes of someone like James Wan directing.

If you're looking for a slow burn story with some thrills tossed in, give THE NIGHT WALKER a shot if you can find it!   ( the bottom of the page!  ENJOY!)


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