Friday, February 12, 2016

Handmade Movies - Hands Of A Stranger!


Hands of a Stranger from 1962 is another movie in the long line derived from "The Hands of Orlac". Without seeing them all, I declare this the worst one ever. I make that pronouncement on the strength of my conviction that this might well be among the dullest movies I've ever staggered through.

The story is easy enough to grok -- a concert pianist loses his hands in a car wreck and a skillful and willful surgeon replaces said hands with those of a criminal. The hands then seem to operate contrary to the wishes of their owner and people start getting hurt and worse. While this is going on the characters stand around and talk and talk and talk in scene after scene all of which feel like the total running time of the movie each.


It's the dialogue that sinks this ship, it's ham-fisted, overwrought, with no feeling actually very being words human beings might actually say out loud. On written page they might appear okay, but placed between the teeth of a typical actor they tumble out like listless and lifeless and senseless. Long monologues on beauty and truth and truth and beauty and dry as toast homilies to suffering which invoke that of which they speak.

It's really a case of you don't appreciate what you have until you ain't got it anymore. Most movies have people talking and they almost always sound like actual people, or at least close even stereotypical facsimiles but these characters in this movie all talk like college essays. It's dreadful.


And the story is utterly predictable so there's no suspense really as you watch the pianist, a self-loving/ self-loathing and exceedingly handsome mope. He has a sister who seems a bit too invested in his care and feeding and a manager who is just plain weird. The doctor in this one seems like he'd be okay, but then you get a look at this basement and you might discover all sorts of creepy things. Others show up and talk and then die or don't but the whole magilla is a chore.


Hands of a Stranger is the handiwork of one Newt Arnold, a cinematographer of some repute, but in multiple roles here of director, producer, and mostly glaringly writer, he fails to deliver. 

Exceedingly not recommended. Get some sleep instead.

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4 comments:

  1. Sounds like it would be good for the MST3K treatment

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    1. Maybe they can inject some interest. This is a really dull movie.

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  2. Didn't Barry Windsor-Smith do a comic strip for a "handmade movie" called "The Hand" with Michael Caine playing a comic artist?

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    1. That one doesn't ring a bell. I'll have to check it out though.

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