I SAW A Film!

It’s a simple, oddball little film about a basic Navy kid played by Dennis Hopper, when he was a cutie-pie, and a lovely but dramatic carnival babe, played by Linda Lawson (of lots of sporadic TV from Ben Casey to Saved By the Bell), who gets paid to lay in water and wear a mermaid costume. The black and white production keeps it stark and artsy. Hopper’s Johnny moves right in on Mora who is just wanting to take in some flute jazz. But his insistent approach works. Soon enough Mora and Johnny are an item.

There’s some talk about her being an orphan found by the carny who sells tickets to see her, he raised her (uh sure buddy). Then we hear from some locals (nice seaside resort place none of these people could afford) that her last two beaus mysteriously washed up dead. Then there’s some yacking about “sirens” and the Odyssey.

Pitch in some dream sequences about tentacles and fish tails. Just for the record, what the hell could possibly be the slightest bit exciting about a mermaid, do men wanna have sex with huge fish? Then have some great girlfriend drama as Mora wades out under the pier and does an excellent damsel in peril to lure Johnny out to rescue her. In other worlds, normal girlfriend stuff. All of this seems to be going well.

But, then they go diving and Mora literally yanks his respirator out of his mouth sending him to the surface. Soon the true reason for the poor former boyfriends to have washed up dead is revealed. Oh, we say, of course, we say. But What about that nonsense when you went diving?

I’m sure this was a beatnik favorite, Jazz, Hopper, black and white, spooky ladies (not just one but two!). I’m a tremendous sucker for the era (West Side Story, Guns of Navarone, Blue Hawaii) and, of course, the real good stuff (Mothra! Splendor in the Grass!)! Don’t worry about it being too much of a downer, Johnny will be OK, the coffee shop girl has a thing for him and there’s a serious benefit to her, she always shows up with coffee! She’s cute too! (Yojimibo!)

Enjoy for Free on Prime.

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