Here comes one last icy blast of winter! Let me tell ya, one of my most favorite memories of seeing a movie in the theater was when I first saw DEAD OF WINTER way back in the olden days. My first year of college I had no TV but I happened to be renting a room in a small town that had a movie theater that showed second run movies all week and had a magic show on the weekends (shout out to the incredible Cabot Street Theater in Beverly, Mass!). It was great because I went and saw basically everything they played regardless of genre and they changed their movies several times a week.
DEAD OF WINTER has some kind of moody goth-lite charisma that hits me exactly where I grimly live. I’ve been fascinated by cold and distant HITCHCOCK-worshiping, high-maintenance psychological thrillers since 1982 when I became the world’s first and only STILL OF THE NIGHT super-fan. Nothing butters my bread better than a dark and stormy night, a female lead who may or may not be losing her mind and a big old dark creepy house with plenty of visual details to repeatedly explore. If the lady in question is playing multiple roles as the great MARY STEENBURGEN does in this, that’s all the better. Sign me, my cat, my STAR WARS blanket and my whiskey up!
This is one of those special movies that I feel I have to have on both DVD and VHS; the DVD is for serious viewing and the VHS is for me to fall asleep to. Is that wrong? I can’t help it. I love it so. DEAD OF WINTER is all about what happens when you loose your identity trying to be all things to all people (a goldfish in a plastic bag- best symbolism ever!) and how you can never, ever trust people like RODDY McDOWALL. It’s directed by the brilliant ARTHUR PENN (BONNIE AND CLYDE) and am I the only person who thinks STEENBURGEN looks exactly like KATE BUSH? There’s a scene in DOW where she struggles to climb up a steep wooded hillside and every time I watch it I hear BUSH’s “Running up that Hill” in my head. This is one of those go-to comfort movies that I return to over and over again. If you have never had the pleasure before, check it out on COMET TV today at 2pm HERE!