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


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.

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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