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 Post subject: It! (1966)
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:28 pm 
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Anyone here seen It!? This is it... (condensed - don't watch if you want to avoid spoilers):


No, it's not the It of Stephen King fame; it's a goofy monster picture from the sixties. It was released on DVD not too long ago as part of a double feature, paired with The Shuttered Room (1967). It! stars Roddy McDowall and is another version of the famous Golem legend; one of the alternate titles is Curse of the Golem. The story shows what a crazed fool can do when he has an all-powerful creature-tool at his disposal.

Though this features the invulnerable Golem creature, most of the story revolves around McDowall's character, Pimm, who seems patterned on Norman Bates of Psycho (1960). Pimm must have snapped a few years before the point that the film begins; he's assistant curator at a museum and presents himself as polite and slightly quirky, but in truth he is total bonkers. Then he proceeds to snap a couple of more times during the course of the picture -- in the hands of actor McDowall, such a character arc has to be seen to be believed...

It! also stars Jill Haworth, who appears in a very (for the time) provocative dream scene at one point...
Image Image
ABOVE: Pimm (Roddy McDowall) contemplates the Golem's arms... and Jill Haworth offers some alternate points of interest

I think that some elements in this film were meant to be absurd, in the vein of a dark comedy, but I can't be sure. Just when it looks like things can't get any more whacky in this film, the final act veers to an entirely different plot and locale: it becomes a madman and his Golem vs. the world, and the military quickly decides that nothing short of nuclear weapons will win the day (as I said, has to be seen to be believed). But, can even atomics stop a being which cannot be destroyed..? You'll have to see for yourself... :roll:

It! Factoids: Roddy McDowall's name is misspelled in the credits as "MacDowall" and no one seems to notice, starting the whacky stuff even before the film proper; maybe it's an alternate spelling..?
(2) This film was meant to copy the Hammer Films style of film-making of the sixties - it does seem like a loopy version of a Hammer film to me...
(3) Pimm states at one point that the Golem statue weighs in at over 3,000 lbs. - that's heavy even for an 8-foot tall stone statue; perhaps it's mystical stone - which is why it can't be damaged, see?


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 Post subject: Re: It! (1966)
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:38 am 
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I only have one obvious problem with it, and it isn't the "Psycho rip-off" side, but it does have to do with that. To me, the story woukld have worked better if he had been an "oddball" character who slowly goes completely "mad with power" due to controlling the Golem. But making him "Norman Bates" makes him completely crazy to begin with, which makes the other thing impossible.


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 Post subject: Re: It! (1966)
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:01 pm 
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To me, very few things in this film made sense. For example,

Spoiler

the whole premise is that one shouldn't direct the Golem to do bad things, that it was meant to mete out justice - not simply murder. Also, there's that ancient little parchment that Pimm finds and which gives him power over the stone statue, including ordering it to move about. But, how does all this explain the very first scene, in which the Golem supposedly kills Pimm's boss? This suggests that the statue is evil or at least murderous, and can move on its own.
Since I watched this for the first time only a few days ago, I thought there would be a revelation that Pimm himself was committing the murders and that the Golem was just a figment of his maddened imagination, like a rationale for his own evil. But, that certainly was not the case - especially when the entire British army has to deal with the problem towards the end. So, maybe I need to watch it again to see the explanations I missed the first time..? :?

I'm not sure why this film struck me as so much more absurd and off-the-wall than many other films which are also whacky. It may be because it has the look of a polished production - like a Hammer film of the mid-sixties - and just veers into these strange directions. It certainly was strangely entertaining for me... I was surprised by many of the turns to the plot, that's for sure. And, it has this unexpected charm about it.


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 Post subject: Re: It! (1966)
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:02 pm 
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See, now, I've often been tempted to post this in the PoCT thread.
Instead of It!, they should have called this, "The Golem Strikes Again," "Return of the Golem," etc. Basically it's a sequel to the German 1920s movie done like Hammer.

Image
Der Golem - 1920

Maybe they couldn't get the rights from Paul Wegener Estate - and after reading the script would you endorse this? I figure this was 1967, drop some acid, eat some shrooms and this movie didn't really need to make much sense.


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 Post subject: Re: It! (1966)
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:42 pm 
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Just to remind everyone, the title "It!" was first famously associated with a short horror story by Theodore Sturgeon from 1940. It featured a completely different type of monster, a mud monster in the woods which was never really explained. So, this film kind of stole the title and it doesn't really fit this film's creature, the Golem (though I guess both creatures are formed from the Earth in some sense). Also, the Sturgeon story obviously beat Stephen King to it by a good 50 years. Marvel Comics adapted the Sturgeon story in 1972, in the first issue of their new title, Supernatural Thrillers:
__________ Image

ADDITION: Here's more info on this from seventies comics writer Tony Isabella: http://blog.talesofwonder.com/tonys-tips-006/

Isabella later wrote about an IT giant statue creature which also resembled the Golem here: Image


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