I SAW WHAT YOU DID (1965, d. William Castle)
TCM's "Underground" offered up a dandy William Castle double-feature in the pre-dawn hours this morning, HOMICIDAL and I SAW WHAT YOU DID. HOMICIDAL shows up on TCM every once in a while and is available on DVD, but the latter's been out-of-print for a while, so it was a rare treat. It's a simple formula: two bored babysitting teenage girls in a remote country house spend a Saturday night making crank calls and end up getting their wires crossed with a brutal murderer. I don't want to give too much away, since the movie takes some surprisingly suspenseful turns... it's sort of a sideways SORRY, WRONG NUMBER, but not nearly as contrived.
I wasn't sure if I should put this thread in "Mystery and Murder" or "The Psycho Ward", but John Ireland's Saturday night activities nudged me over here to this one. His shower scene is a reverse-engineering of Hitchcock's PSYCHO, but it is quite remarkable despite its gimmickry. And Joan Crawford is suitably horrifying as the love-hungry blackmailing neighbor --- the scene where she confronts one of the teenage girls whom she suspects of dilly-dallying with her man is screechy delight.
The cinematography is good-- lots of swell night-time shadows both in- and outside of the houses. Sure, there's too much beekeeper's smoke for the misty late-night woods around the girls' house, but just shut up about it and eat your popcorn. The theme music is appalling: what studio exec thought that this was a good scoring idea?