Monday, March 6, 2023

Something Weird, ESP, a Witch, and a Serial Killer

ESP!  The sixth sense.  The ability to read people's minds.  The Soviets and the CIA experimented in it during the Cold War in order to gain advantages.  Both sets of idiots ended up only wasting time and money.  Unless you have a witch on your side, ESP is an unharnessed folly.  Hence our film today, 1967's "Something Weird," directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis. 

Mitch (Tony McCabe) is a kind sort.  When a construction worker is electrocuted, he runs over to save him.  He, himself, gets electrocuted and his face is horribly marred in the process.  Recovering in the hospital, the doctors discover Mitch now has ESP.  Now Mitch is reduced to a masked fortune-teller, telling babes when they will get married.  Then an ugly witch (Mudite Arums) enters his life with a proposition.  If he becomes her lover, she'll grant him his good looks back, plus fame and fortune.  He accepts when the witch manifests herself as the sultry Ellen (Elizabeth Lee).  Now Mitch and Ellen are quite an item.  Oh yes, a serial killer is murdering beautiful women in Wisconsin.  After the seventh babe is horribly killed, the cops call in Mitch to help solve the case.

The boys in Washington have heard about Mitch and want to co-opt him for their efforts.  They send in their guy, a handsome G-Man named Jordan (William Brooker). Jordan will fall in love with Ellen, not knowing she is actually an ugly hag...okay, stop it, you divorced men...that's not funny!  Uh oh...Mitch is getting signals on who the murderer is...a lot of them.  Now Jordan has a little experiment he'd like to try...he gives Mitch some LSD...yeah, like that'll work out well.  As Jordan gets more and more enchanted with Ellen, Mitch's psychic visions grow more grotesque...and the killer gets bolder.

Ah, ESP!  This was quite the fad in the 60s and 70s.  Today, the sixth sense has been reduced to a parlor game any idiot can master,  The CIA has moved on to balloons and alien spaceships...and we're all closer to World War 3 than when we were focused on ESP.  Maybe the CIA should go back to ESP...even though they probably don't want to know what we all think of them.  For a weird minor classic, see "Something Weird," and then pick a number between one and ten.  Seven!  See...I'm getting good at this.

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