On The Cultural Gutter, I’m writing about Folk Horror for the Atomic Age. These Are the Damned is a curious film that effectively pulls off the difficult stunt of starting off as one type of story but ending up a very different type, equal parts crime melodrama, science fiction, and folk horror.
Testi plays Milo, a small-time hood who, when the film opens is lugging his wounded buddy through a field after a heist that has apparently gone rather poorly. His friend dies, and Testi buries him in the field before getting arrested and ending up in a jail run by Oliver Reed’s Vito Cipriani.
Basil Dearden’s 1960 caper film League of Gentlemen is a little bit like if, instead of ending up solving crimes for a living, Bulldog Drummond ended up committing them; as if his humorous classified ad was answered by a fellow demobilized officer putting together a crew for a heist.
With a game cast, Condorman goes about the business of trying its hardest to be a kid-friendly take on the James Bond franchise without being the pandering sort of kids’ spy film we too often had to endure.
It was great fun to watch Oliver Reed leer and sweat all over everybody. In addition, the young Carol Lynley was quite lovely, and Kirchin’s bopping score struck me as a surprisingly adventurous alternative to the typical gothic meanderings you might expect.