The Brujo
Kung Fu

Emilio Fernandez is the brujo, terrorizing a village in Mexico from his lair in a cave. Because he is believed, the villagers die at his whim, all by pushing pins into a doll and the like.

Caine remembers a magus of his childhood, “I can cure any sickness, converse with the dead, confound a thousand masters!” The grasshopper became his disciple and lost interest. A curse followed, the same one that killed the previous disciple.

The shadow of a cross falls upon Caine at the appointed hour, “reflecting the evil back to its source”. The brujo dies, not he.


the force of evil
tales of the unexpected

Ambulance view of the disaster, an observer. “Goodbye, Mr. Jakes,” Teddy.

From Quinn Martin, an analysis of Cape Fear (dir. J. Lee Thompson) as excessive, intrusive, all-pervading nightmare, a sublime effect of Nabokov’s Russian play The Event.

William Watson is the nemesis (cf. “Goodnight Baby—Time to Die!”, dir. Alf Kjellin for Hawaii Five-O).

Not necessary to show the horses, only the flaming stable, and then, in a young girl’s dreaming mind, the effect that it produces, “a man... a leg... his face” revolving in hell.

The remote suggestion of LeRoy’s The Bad Seed is at once borne out in the script.

Watson, who sometimes avails himself of a resemblance to Steve McQueen, gives a good impression of James Coburn in this part.

Beautifully transposed to a place out West called Desert Wells (cinematography Paul Lohmann). A masterful variant by Robert Malcolm Young worthy of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour conveys a kind of hopeful desperation (cf. Wellman’s Lafayette Escadrille) and prepares the uneasy conclusion.


Night Cries

Birth and the loss of a child. Psychological reaction, defined by dreams and nightmares.

Government-funded dream analysis (sleep studies, REM awareness, etc.). Confrontation of Puritanical ethic in past, successful analysis (the sleeper is a lost child).

Confrontation with the present, kidnapping of the baby in financial transaction by maternity nurse, childless.

Such a précis, reduced to a “meremost minimum”, conveys the stature of the work.


The Mountain Men

The o’nery Blackfeet guard a legendary lake brimming with beaver, men wear silk hats now and don’t need ‘em, scarce anyways.

“Takes place in that part of the Old West that never changes,” reported Janet Maslin (New York Times).

It didn’t make much sense to Variety either, “a limp feature”.

Halliwell’s Film Guide found “no possible interest.”


Don’t Go to Sleep

The title gives from Goya a warning little analytical tale in which the loss of a daughter to envy and mischance leads to a horrible reaction of guilt that wipes out nearly all the remainder.

This has its amusing side, no doubt about it.

A great study of childhood fears and fancies, another of great sorrows in family life, yet another of the psychologist and his collection of old toy banks, lots of great studies make up the fabric of the film.


Kung Fu

The film is founded on the central joke of the series, Kwai Chang Caine is the killer of the royal nephew.

Revenge has been taken on the Shaolin temple by the royal nephew’s father, no master is left save Caine.

An unusual turn in the proscribed opium trade has the stuff processed in California for shipment to China in coffins, this aspect of the drama is of great interest, also the evil Manchu’s version of Greek fire and so forth.

Caine had a son at that time and did not know it, the boy has been brought up as an assassin.