February 14th, 2007

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  • mikemdp

The Impact of Quicksand

June, I'm worried about the Beav.
I second packratshow's recommendation for East West's Quicksand/Impact disc. It's terrific.

Impact is more noirish than Quicksand. It's about a guy who escapes a hit man hired by his wife and starts a new life in a Mayberry-like town. It's not as moody and atmospheric as the best noir, but it does have a nasty femme fatale and a couple of good lines like, "In this world, you turn the other cheek, and you get hit with a lug wrench." Plus, it has the tasty Ella Raines (looking like Geena Davis in Stuart Little) and Anna May Wong in the kind of stereotypical role that made her famous.

Quicksand is much lighter fare, noirish only for the femme fatale and bleak outlook. But I think it is actually stipulated in the Motion Picture Code that any movie starring Mickey Rooney cannot be classified as "Film Noir." Rooney tries to play a likeable loser auto mechanic whose petty theft of 10 bucks from his boss' cash register spirals him into a life of crime.

The trouble is, it's Mickey Rooney. He's about four feet tall and looks pre-pubescent. He's not a threat. The femme fatale is Jeanne Cagney (James' sister), whose lifetime of smoking rendered her looking old enough to be his grandma. Kinky. There's also a cameo appearance by Peter Lorre as a character with the unlikely name of "Nick Dramoshag," and who looks remarkably like Squiggy from Laverne & Shirley.

Still, it's a marvelously fun picture, a Noir-lite obviously made for the younger, drive-in crowd.

For much more authentic film noir at dollar-dvd prices, check out "Hunted and Haunted" from PC Treasures, which includes the great Detour and Whistle Stop, plus a cartoon.

I'm a tough guy. See this jacket? It means I'm a tough guy.