directed by David Greene (1969)
If I Start Counting were remade, I know exactly the kind of rote crap it would become: it would star some slutty looking not-quite teen and be slick, boring, and lifeless.
This largely forgotten original however, is none of these things. It’s a bit messy, sure, and definitely unpolished but features a great performance by its actual teen star (who you may recognize from An American Werewolf in London) and really effectively creates an eerie tone.
It might remind one of the tenser quiet moments of Black Swan meets a late 60’s after school movie.
When women are being murdered near an abandoned suburb, a young girl, hopelessly in love with her adopted much older brother begins to come to the chilling conclusion that he may be responsible. Hovering between a world of romantic innocence and the violent, dirty, and painful world of adults, she tries to come to terms with her sexuality and her emotions while trying to disprove her suspicions.
I pretty much live to find overlooked treasures like this and am thrilled that Netflix streaming has embraced the discarded films of the past as much as the newest releases.
And even though (as noted) a remake would probably only be junk, if someone with a sense of mood and style were to remake it, Peter Sarsgaard would rule as the older creepy brother and like almost everything I re-cast in my mind, Juliette Lewis would find herself in the role of a mysterious lady he goes to visit. As for the teen, I’d cast an unknown.