Friday, March 19, 2010
Wheezing My Way Through Experiment in Terror
Experiment in Terror is the EXACT reason why you should NOT mess around with us asthmatics.
I mean, not to scare you or anything! ;-D
I was pretty stinkin' excited to see this movie (thanks ever so, Auntie Casey for sending me a copy!), for two reasons. One, it's about a wheezing killer, who at one point in the film is dubbed The Phantom Asthmatic (I kind of want to steal that.). Two, the aforementioned Phantom Asthmatic is none other then the genius-personified Ross Martin.
I get literally freaked out by even Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Night Gallery, so I made quite sure to have my 14 year-old brother watch it with me. (Haha, we watched The Uninvited last week and I spent most of the movie hiding behind a pillow.) Although, I think I started to freak him out about half way through. Because, I do have asthma, and lately it's been rather bad, so I've been wheezing a lot. So here it is, 11:30, pitch-black in the house, and we're watching a movie about Ross terrorizing Lee Remick, with literally just his voice. And I'm sitting over on the couch quietly wheezing away...hahaha! It was kind of hysterical. There were parts where I'd be like, "Oh my gosh, I can hear him wheezing! THAT MUST BE HIM IN THE SHADOWS!" ......But then it would just turn out it was myself I was hearing.
An interesting way to watch the movie, to say the least! ;-D
But, really this movie was just completely brilliant. Just another layer of Ross Martin's highly accomplished acting ability. And the support (well, I guess "technically" Ross is the support, but WHATEVER!) is great as well. Lee gives one of the best performances I've ever seen from her. Glenn Ford is actually kind of cool. And Stephanie Powers makes me not hate her! (I'm sorry, but too many viewings of If a Man Answers ruined her forever for me! HOW DARE SHE DO THAT TO SANDY AND BOBBY?!! Hahaha.)
Although, my complete adoration for/crazy amounts of time spent watching The Wild Wild West, made it difficult for me to ever completely be scared of or dislike Ross. I would start to freak out and my mind would automatically go, "No, that's just Artie! No need to worry!" And seriously...
SPOILER ALERT! ...When he dresses up in those disguises, particularly as the old lady, it was REALLY hard for me to pretend it wasn't Artie somehow trying to save the world from a crazy super-villain. END SPOILER ALERT!
But, Ross was still utterly brilliant, and although amazingly enough he was NOT nominated for an Oscar (in a year in which Ed Begley won for Sweet Bird of Youth), he was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe (although he lost to Omar Sharif in Lawrence of Arabia....sheesh, like anybody even cares about that movie anymore! I mean really. ;-D).
This post is seriously going nowhere. I don't even know what I'm trying to say for half of this! (<-- That sentence does not even make sense! ;-D)
Besides the performances there are other aspects of this film, that make it a MUST-SEE.
It was directed by Blake Edwards, the same year he did Days of Wine and Roses, and it has a similar darkish vibe (if that makes sense?). He directs it extremely well, with a really wunderbar use of shadows. The scene I found the most frightening (and the one I really didn't watch much of, ahem, the aforementioned pillow-hiding tactic) was the one in a mannequin making studio. YOU KNOW there's something not right there. YOU KNOW there's evil there. But, you just don't know when, where, or how it's going to appear. The suspense is craziness.
Also, there is a great, famous, and freaky theme by Henry Mancini:
In conclusion, I LOVED this film. And really loved that the underlying "truth" was that you really just don't mess around with people with asthma. Because nine times out of ten, we are brilliant, evil, and insane.
I'm not joking with you guys.