Monday, October 19, 2015

The People Who Own the Dark (1976)

Conceptually, this thing earns all the good will in the world before its execution completely botches things.  A bunch of wealthy degenerates get together in a sparsely-decorated home to practice the arts mastered by the Marquis de Sade.


Of course, this involves wearing goofy masks...


And having women in sheer nightwear very gently chained to things.


All stuff that would be foreign to de Sade, but forward.  Onto the crux of the movie, a nuclear strike that has rendered everyone outside the orgy basement (which must be lead or something, I guess?) blind.  We actually have two great premises that underdeliver here.  A movie about life in a post-nuclear world with the people from your orgy group should, by all rights, be great.  And a "kingdom of the blind" scenario also holds promise.  


But this film is dashed by its low ambitions.  It definitely doesn't indulge in the perverse possibilities of the Sade stuff, as our surviving reprobates openly wish for a better world and other kinds of schmaltzy B-movie lines.  But it also never really pulls the trigger on the war between the blind and the sighted.  And it's shot like a TV movie of the week.


By the time we get to the Night of the Living Dead-gaffled ending, it's pretty impossible to still care or not nap.


**1/2

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