Nightcall – Curt McDowell’s ‘Thundercrack!’ (1975)

30 Jun

Where does one begin with a film like Thundercrack!? In all honesty, I’m not quite sure where, because the film feels like a dense two-hour plus epic of bizarre proportions. Once seen, definitely never forgotten. Essentially Thundercrack! is an ‘old dark house’ horror story with a tonne of gratuitous hardcore sex scenes thrown in for, what feels like some very strange, fun. Directed by Curt McDowell and written by Mark Ellinger and George Kuchar (the well-known American underground and avant-garde filmmaker), the feature is beautifully shot in black and white with frames composed to highlight the physical and mental mess of the characters minds and lives. Mess I might add is a bit of an understatment.

This is an entry I’ll keep incredibly brief because the film is one that really has to be seen to be believed. Do you like weird, quirky, sexual films with a heavy B-movie aesthetic even though the flick is question is probably lower than B on the movie scale? Great! This one is definitely for you. With a varied amount of highly strung and very over the top characters (Mrs Gert Hammond in particular), weird-multi stranded narratives and enough sex to shake your stick at, you can see why this film is a bit of a cult favourite. Not to mention one that has been unavailable in parts of the world until late because of its content (lots and lots of lovely hardcore shots including vaginal penetration, anal penetration, sex toys, erections, masturbation, oral sex, ejaculation…). Throw in a generous dash of black humour (very fake flashbacks, paper sets, someone inadvertently masturbating someone else, an incident with a gorilla…) and you’ve got an unforgettable film that is well worth picking up.

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