A sailor (Dennis Hopper’s first starring role!) falls in love with a girl in a beatnik jazz club, and is drawn into a strange world in which she may be a mermaid. Turning Venice Beach locations into indelible film noir images, Night Tide is part gothic horror, part mood piece, all fever dream.
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Tarot readings, beachside drum circles and secret languages remind of Harrington’s interest in the occult, never uncannier than in this story of selves split between rational daylight and mythical nighttime.
Night Tide shares more than just superficial similarity with Cat People; it is a direct continuation and embellishment upon the earlier film’s ideas about sex (and women and fear) in America… The fear of ones own sexuality and what it could do to another person is at the heart of both Night Tide andCat People.
The film is so lovely that the characteristic Harrington theme of incestuous obsession hits you nearly on the rebound, asserting itself with an intensity that empowers Night Tide to quietly grow in stature as you turn the film over in your mind.
More a story of teenage longing and loss than a horror flick, Night Tide is both gentle in tone and beautiful in a surreal, enigmatic way. Notable are the sounds of waves splashing in the background and scenes of the mermaid/love interest wed to the water. An early indie gem from Harrington, known for experimental and queer cinema.
3,5 Think I read someplace that certain film editors'd be irked at the supposition they were just cutting aces (so are butchers) or that cinematographers were cute shots snipers, or set designers prop-erecting hacks. They interpret, provide a vision of the whole and some productions are results of such organic & hermeneutic collabs. NT ends weakly but there's sth so youthfully jittery, searching & coherent in its use
Night Tide is a fascinating film that conjures a strange, uncommon aura that evokes great mystery as well as the opportunity for horror. It's shot like a grand noir film but also has a wonderful dexterity in its cinema and has the novelty of featuring a very young Dennis Hopper as the lead. It's also most likely the best film I've seen on the subject of mermaids. An offbeat, unsung gem of American horror cinema.
A masterpiece? Hmm, compared to what? It's a quite unusual mix of fantasy and a love story drama with some elements of horror and perhaps film noir - yes, this sounds very unique, but the film doesn't manage to create the feeling of a confusing, delusional fever dream. It's nice to see Dennis Hopper's first main role, but overall acting isn't particularly impressive in this film to say the least...
Totally unexpected and dazzling at moments oceanic tale of Mo(i)ra, it fuses magical-romantic elements with the macabre, featuring a wonderfully naive D.Hopper, whose purity ideal is tested by the sirens of Romantic mysticism. The mysterious woman speaking in Greek about 'homecoming', the blend of Christian Orthodox iconography with Tarot yield a merry-go-round of mesmerizing moments. Hidden gem, highly recommended.
Such an earnest film, both in the performances and in the cinematography. There are no skewed camera angles on characters to suggest an off-kilter world. There are no quick montages of eerie amusement park sites to suggest a dangerous atmosphere. I kept thinking of how Orson Welles would have directed this story; he would have made it very creepy by making everyone in this world untrustworthy.