Saturday, May 30, 2009

Soul Snatcher, The (1965)

Directed by:
H.L. Zimmer

Wannabe photographer's model Kathy (Diane Webster) is having a hard time finding a job. She's sick of putting herself "up for exhibition" by showing off her body at auditions that lead nowhere, and as a result has a hard time paying her rent. She does have two understanding roommates, though. One of them ("nudie" movie regular Darlene Bennett) is first seen simultaneously painting a nude portrait and gabbing on the phone, while a fan on the floor between her legs blows up her skirt (?!) Kathy and her roommates attend a party where the painter roomie strips down to a bikini and Kathy pouts in the corner. Magically, a balding, goateed guy wearing heavy eyeliner, rouge and a tux appears out of nowhere. Yep, it's Satan himself, even though he's referred to as "The Stranger" (apparently the big "revelation" at the end was supposed to be a surprise... oops!) He's there to temporarily help out this "lost soul" by granting her wishes. The only condition is that she has to wear a pair of gold high heels at all times (?!) Desperate, Kathy agrees to the bargain. Some time passes and our gullible heroine has become a popular model with an understanding boyfriend named Cary. She should be happy, but everything seems so hollow. In frustration, she takes off the gold shoes and throws them across the floor. "The Stranger" then shows up to inform her that since she broke the contract, she owes him her soul. He disappears yet again and the next time he shows up will be the last we hear of poor Kathy. Yay!

Where to start, where to start... Even though characters move their lips there is no dialogue, which leads me to believe either the sound was lost or that it was shot silent and they planned to dub in the dialogue later. That didn't happen, so the whole film is narrated instead. Said narration is horribly written and monotonous in the extreme... and it never seems to end. Neither does the corny, sleep-inducing elevator music. There's no nudity, it's stupid, badly shot on 16mm and is very boring, with endless scenes of people sitting and or walking around for padding. The only thing even mildly amusing are the inappropriate facial expressions of the leading lady when she's supposed to exit worry and fear. I should point out that I only saw the reduced 30 minute short version that came as an extra on the ASYLUM OF SATAN/SATAN'S CHILDREN double feature. Apparently, the full-length version is 90 minutes! Will I ever watch THE SOUL SNATCHER is all its bloated glory? No. Freaking. Way.


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