Horror On The Lens: The Sadist (dir by James Landis)


Sadist-picture

As scary as all the stories of zombies and vampires may be, the most frightening monsters in the world are the ones that walk among us.  I may look away when a monster shows up halfway through a movie but what truly scares me is what my fellow human beings have proven themselves capable of doing.

Today’s movie is all about man-made horror.  Released in 1963, The Sadist is a dark and rather brutal film about what happens when three teachers have car trouble and find themselves wandering around a seemingly deserted junkyard.  They quickly discover that they’re not alone.  Watching them and eventually terrorizing them is Charlie (Arch Hall, Jr.), an inartciulate sociopath who quickly proves himself to be a lot more clever than his smugly complacent hostages.  This bleak film is memorable for both its starkly effective cinematography and Hall’s disturbingly plausible portrayal of the title character.

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2 responses to “Horror On The Lens: The Sadist (dir by James Landis)

  1. It’s a safe bet to say Arch Hall Jr. never won any acting awards. But I agree his turn as the loony Sadist is eerie ,and gripping in an uncomfortable performance. This is not a high rated type of film. But if you watch just one Arch Hall Jr. film it should be ‘The Sadist’

    • This was also the only film that Arch made that wasn’t directed by his father. I imagine that has something to do with why his performance is better here than in something like Eegah and Wild Guitar. :)

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