10/3/18 – OCTOBER HORROR MOVIE PICK #3 – The Sentinel (1977).

The first couple days I picked something recent from the past year. Now I get to venture back into my personal fave horror library. If you like movies that are trashy, bonkers, and will definitely leave an impact on you, look no further than The Sentinel. I’ll get to why it’ll leave that impact in a moment, but for now let me explain the basic plot of The Sentinel. This movie revolves around a beautiful model that moves into a too-good-to-be-true apartment in an old building full of bizarre occupants. And when I mean bizarre, I mean BIZARRE. You’ve got Burgess Meredith as an overly-nice weirdo who throws birthday parties for his cat. You’ve got Beverly D’Angelo and Silvia Miles as a pair of over-the-top lesbians who like to rip off each other’s leotards and go at each other in front of people (and have another more disturbing secret you’ll discover too). But the weirdest is the creepy priest at the very top of the building that doesn’t move, just staring out the window all day and all night. What is he watching? Is he even alive? Oh, you’ll find out. Well, needless to say, what starts out as bizarre, goes into full-on, flat out BATSHIT territory. Plus, when you add how damn 70’s trashy this film is, and how much it loves to wallow in its trash, you get such a fun combination. There are two things that everyone talks about when The Sentinel comes up. First, the cast is insane. Everyone from Ava Gardner to John Carradine to Jose Ferrer. You’ve got Chris Sarandon playing a douche, a role he’s so good at. You’ve even got smaller parts from everyone from Jeff Goldblum to Christopher Walken. The high-end cast within this normally low-end material is just the so awesome. Now, the other thing people always talk about with this film is the climax. This brings me back to my initial statement of why this film leaves an impact on you. I really don’t want to give away the entire ending, but let’s just say it’s controversial and could NEVER be made the same way today. It was exploitative of real people with real deformities, makes you feel filthy and gross, but it’s undeniably one of the most disturbing things you’ll ever see put on film. Don’t say you weren’t warned. The Sentinel is a true 70’s sleazy gem and should really be on more people’s radars than it is.

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