From renowned commentor Schroedinger’s Cat:
Do you need a respite from the Trump Horror Show that we are watching unfold? Starting this week, we will feature a movie review every weekend. I am happy to announce that the Insufferable Movie Snob, a serious student of movie making has joined forces with me in this endeavor…
Shock Corridor and Masculine Fragility
I want to thank Schroedinger’s Cat for inviting me to post with her on her blog. She thought our two ways of writing about movies and culture would be compatible, so here I am! I still have my (sadly neglected) blog about Pre-Code movies, so I’m going to use this space to talk about other movies in the same vein that don’t fit into the Pre-Code time period of 1929 to 1934. Today’s topic is Samuel Fuller, who managed to independently produce his own films his own way at the height of the studio system by imitating the ploy of the Pre-Codes and not submitting his films to the censorship office until they were completed. This allowed him to explore stories and subjects that were supposed to be off-limits, as in today’s featured film, Shock Corridor (1963).
A word of warning for those who’ve never read my regular blog, The Insufferable Movie Snob: my motto is “All Spoilers, All The Time.” If you don’t want to know what happens in Shock Corridor, go watch it and then come back to read this.
First of all, if you’ve never seen a Samuel Fuller film, you may not want to start with Shock Corridor. Trust me on this. Maybe start with Underworld USA (1961) or The Steel Helmet (1951) instead, because this movie gives you concentrated Fuller at top volume, complete with bizarre hallucinations, barely audible voiceovers, and a “mystery” plot that’s a complete throwaway. The murder that Johnny Barrett (Peter Breck) goes mad trying to solve is the shaggy dog story on which Fuller hangs his musings about the toxicity of American masculinity.