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Night Tide: Remastered Edition [Blu-ray]

7 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Dennis Hopper, Linda Lawson, Gavin Muir
  • Directors: Curtis Harrington
  • Format: Original recording remastered, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • Release Date: Oct. 15 2013
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007IHH3QW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #55,152 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Product Description

On leave in a shore side town, Johnny (Dennis Hopper) becomes interested in a young dark haired woman. They meet and he learns that she plays a mermaid in the local carnival. After strange occurrences, Johnny begins to believe that she may actually be a real mermaid that habitually kills during the cycle of the full moon. Restored and remastered in high definition from the George Eastman House.

No ordinary cult film, Night Tide covers a variety of different waterfronts. It's a film from the American underground, it's a horror movie, and it's an early example of independent cinema (before there was such a term). Shot in 1960, it's also a strangely haunting artifact of its time. Night Tide was written and directed by Curtis Harrington, a member of the experimental avant-garde of the '50s who went on to make the atmospheric shocker Games and many an episode of Dynasty. Mounted on the cheap, and shot on authentic locations in Santa Monica and crumbling Venice, California, Night Tide has a loose, lyrical quality not found outside Cassavetes and Godard films of the same era.

Dennis Hopper, whose youthful looks and Method style were still intact at this point, plays an innocent sailor at liberty in a coastal town; he falls for a girl who plays a mermaid at the sideshow. Or is she really a mermaid? Inspired by Val Lewton's horror classic Cat People, Harrington cooks up a supernatural stew with the suggestion that the willowy lass is one of the "Sea People," called back to her ocean home by a weird sea witch (played by a real-life occult celebrity called Cameron). Yet Night Tide only occasionally feels like a horror movie; with its naturalistic exteriors, bongos, and coffeehouse atmosphere, it's more a slice of poetic bohemia. Luana Anders, who should have had a major movie career but later became a B-movie leading lady, is wonderfully fresh as the good girl, and the music score by Hollywood pro David Raksin (Laura) is inventive and offbeat. Shown at the Venice Film Festival in 1961, the film did not secure a U.S. release until 1963, when its New-Wave-ish style probably looked less innovative. Seen today, Night Tide is both a lovely mood piece and a look back at a peculiar moment in American moviemaking, and either way a bit of low-cost enchantment. --Robert Horton --This text refers to the DVD edition.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By tokyodoll on March 8 2003
Format: DVD
Great low-budget indy horror film from the 60s inspired by the Val Lewton classic 'Cat People'. Fans of other b/w indy horror flicks like 'Carnival of Souls' should really enjoy it. It stars the great Dennis Hopper ('Giant', 'Easy Rider', 'River's Edge', 'Blue Velvet', etc.) as a naive young sailor named Johnny who falls for a mysterious & beautiful girl called Mora. Mora works as "Mora the Mermaid" in a sideshow during the day on a CA Boardwalk. After they become lovers, Johnny discovers that Mora's last two boyfriends mysteriously drowned and soon he starts wondering if Mora is a real mermaid or one of the spooky "Sea People".
The soundtrack is a mix of great bongo numbers & bad b-movie music, but the real highlight is the eerie atmosphere and great stylized photography. The director tried hard to raise "Night Tide" out of the usual b-movie abyss and it shows. Excellent flick!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Surfink on Aug. 21 2001
Format: DVD
I won't go into a treatise on the film except to say that it is one of my sentimental favorites of the fantasy genre (inspired by Val Lewton's films of the 40s, particularly Cat People) even though there's no monsters, sci-fi apparatus, etc. Just a wonderful, evocative mood and sense of place, offbeat and interesting characters, effective photography, etc. According to the accompanying commentary, Harrington and Hopper felt they were making a "movie of the streets" like the Italian directors and I think that's part of what contributes to Night Tide's uniqueness; that feel really comes through. Anyway the DVD is very clean, the best I've ever seen the film, letterboxed, with no video or audio problems that I noticed. The commentary, although there are occasional lulls, is quite interesting. Harrington and Hopper have to jog each other's memories a bit (although Hopper eventually remembers quite a bit more detail about the movie than one would expect) and some fascinating bits are revealed (they identify nearly every location they shot on, many of which could still be visited by the intrepid.) In summary, fans of serious, atmospheric fantasy-horror (or Lewton freaks) won't be disappointed in the movie or the DVD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By William Kersten on Oct. 19 2001
Format: DVD
This film is a fine example of how low budget is sometimes better than big budget: its qualities come partly from moody black and white lighting on ordinary locations and subtle suggestions of fear and the supernatural with lighting and editing rather than blatant special effects. It has a quiet and eerie, dream-like atmosphere, with excellent acting by Dennis Hopper, Luana Anders, and Linda Lawson as "Mora the Mermaid." The music score by David Raksin is excellent, and a rare example of a major film composer working on a very small budgeted film. Curtis Harrington's directing creates a sense of psychological eerieness and shadowy imagery rarely seen since the Val Lewton classics of the forties, which it is similar to (especially the original "Cat People" with Simone Simon). This DVD release is very good quality, and features an excellent and informative commentary by Curtis Harrington and Dennis Hopper.
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By Carolyn Paetow on Aug. 4 2003
Format: DVD
This otherwise typical low-budgeter probably has its fans for two reasons. One, obviously, is the intriguing presence of young Dennis Hopper. The other--maybe not so obviously--is that the feature is a not-bad little noir, replete with brooding atmosphere, smokey chiaroscuro, and an everyman enthralled with an exotic, enigmatic woman. The movie's main problem is poor pacing, exacerbated by a tinny, monotonous score. There are also plot lapses that have nothing to do with the leading lady's origins. Though reminiscent of Cat People, the film merely flirts with horror, though it smacks enough of the supernatural to pose lingering, disquieting questions. Is she or isn't she--the ultimate femme fatale--a Siren....
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