Curtis Harrington's Night Tide Screens at SF's Balboa Theatre

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 10, 2016 06:16pm | Post a Comment

Night Tide

By Brett Stillo

The early 1960s were a great time for nightmares. This was an era of surreal psycho-thrillers filmed in Night Tideeerie contrasts of black and white. One Step Beyond, Boris Karloff’s Thriller, and the one and only Twilight Zone flickered on TV screens while neighborhood movie theaters and drive-ins were haunted by low-budget creep-outs like Carnival of Souls, The Mask, Confessions of an Opium Eater, and Curtis Harrington’s eerie Night Tide.

Night Tide, which will play at San Francisco’s Balboa Theatre on Wednesday, January 13th, is less of a horror movie and more like a weird dream. Harrington, a colleague of Kenneth Anger who directed several '50s avant-garde short films, orchestrates a gothic beatnik fable set amid the crumbling ruins of a dreamland known as Venice, California. The shadows of Film Noir drape over this desolate landscape. You can almost picture the film's "hero" Dennis Hopper turning a corner and running into a haggard Tom Neal from Detour. The destinies of these two downbeat characters may be different, but they seem to be on similar paths.

Night Tide also features several brief but memorable appearances: Marjorie Cameron, the enigmatic bohemian artist, witch, and widow of Jack Parsons (pioneering rocket scientist and Thelemite occultist); and Chaino, bongo player extraordinaire.

The Devil's HandChaino and his bongos also show up in a second feature on the evening’s bill at the Balboa,The Devil’s Hand, a more routine tale of occult shenanigans behind closed doors in early-60’s Southern California. This film doesn’t transcend the bizarre atmosphere of Night Tide, but it does offer some good moments that feed the black and white nightmare.

Get your tickets HERE and RSVP on Facebook HERE!



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Brett Stillo (12), Balboa Theatre (24), Occult (20), Film Noir (50), Super Shangri-la Show (11), Dennis Hopper (2), Marjorie Cameron (1), Kenneth Anger (3), Curtis Harrington (2), Jack Parsons (1), Chaino (3), Film (186), San Francisco (368)