year: 1961
cast: Dennis Hopper, Linda Lawson, Luana Anders, Gavin Muir
director: Curtis Harrington
rating: ***1/2

Many early sixties movies had quick, choppy dialog, a million dissolves (scenes fading in and out), and didn't know exactly what they wanted to be. But this, an independant 1961 low-low budget film, knows exactly what it is, even if the audience isn't sure. In Venice Beach a sailor meets a women in a bar who works at a carnival as a mermaid in what seems like a fake attraction. But she might really be a mermaid, i.e. a siren... and men she's dated have turned up dead. A young cupid-faced Dennis Hopper is fun to watch as the gullible love-sick sailor. He won't listen to all the warnings he's given about her track record. Let's face it, the guy is hooked. It's nice seeing Hopper as a normal person, not a burn-out, weirdo or psychopath. The B&W cinematography is gorgeous, the dialog is tight, and the other performances are also very good, including the lovely Linda Lawson as the seductive vixen who might be a water nymph, or murderess, or both.


  1. Love it..."hooked on this fish" is the perfect way to describe the stoner sailor that Dennis Hopper played. I am so glad that you watched it :) and I totally agree that the end twist needed a little bit of Hitchcock to truly have a noir spin!

  2. wow you're my first post!!! thank you.

    i was a little let down by the ending but... it didn't do anything to hinder my love for this film. it's so addicting.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Featured Post


There's a scene in Peter Bogdanovich's tribute to early film-making when Ryan O'Neal, a goofy lawyer turned goofy director, has...