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Peeping Tom

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Posted 22nd April 2009 at 05:06 PM by Sam@Cult Labs

Peeping Tom

Director Michael Powell went from being a darling of the British film industry to a virtual pariah with this difficult and, at the time of it's release, deeply controversial proto-slasher.

Mark Lewis is a seemingly ordinary young man with an evil secret...he loves to kill women and capture the agonies of their final moments in film. As a child his father, a scientist, performed some nasty experiments on Mark's nervous system so, unsurprisingly, he's grown up a little skewed! By day Mark works as a focus puller in a London studio but by night he stalks loose women, looking for a victim to practice his dubious 'art' upon.

Hope of a release from his evil doings comes in the form of Helen, a young women who moves into the same building as Mark, but can her influence reform the psychopathic film enthusiast or is she doomed to meet a similar fate to the other girls, her last terrifying seconds captured forever on flickering celluloid...

Powell's career may have died due to the fury surrounding this masterpiece but it was worth whatever pain he had to endure. The film captures a sleazy side of late 50s London in a surprisingly candid fashion for a film of it's vintage and the queasy atmosphere of vice and murder remains creepily effective over 40 years later. It's a credit to everyone involved in this landmark slice of Brit-horror that the film retains it's power to shock, albeit in a more subtle fashion than the movies that have followed in it's trailblazing wake.
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