Scenes From A Marriage: Straw Dogs
Chuck Berry: 1926-2017

Kill Or Be Killed: Pretty Poison

Out now! My essay in the newest Ed Brubaker "Kill Or Be Killed" # 7 all about Noel Black's Pretty Poison starring Tuesday Weld and Anthony Perkins. Art by the great Sean Phillips. Order here.

Here's the first paragraph:

Those little eyes So helpless and appealing One day will flash and send you Crashing through the ceiling -- Maurice Chevalier (Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe)

I got a pretty little mouth underneath all the foaming La la la la La la la lie Sooner or later, we all gotta die -- Nick Cave

There’s a scene in Noel Black’s 1968 Pretty Poison that’s so creepy- sexy, so erotically unnerving, that it still makes a viewer feel off balance and disturbed in 2017. Tuesday Weld’s beautiful, blonde 17- year-old high school majorette has just bashed some poor night watchmen on the side of the head – near dead. She and her new boyfriend, psycho but sensitive Anthony Perkins, have been mucking around at the chemical plant he works for on one of their dates/clandestine missions. Perkins is loosening a chute that dumps chemical waste into the town’s water supply and, filling her head with lies that he’s a spy for the CIA, she’s excitedly helping him. She loves the intrigue and mischief and she loves being bad. The factory guard catches him and Perkins stares back terrified – for good reason – he’s recently been released from a loony bin. Weld is not scared of anything. She’s a remarkably pretty girl with enviable hair and straight A grades and a bright future ahead of her. She calmly brains the old guy, blood oozing all over his face, and she seems a little proud of herself too. Like she just solved a relatively hard algebra equation. Without asking or alerting the freaked-out Perkins she, with all of her sociopathic common sense and know-how, drags the dying man’s body into the water. He’s now good and dead. And then she sits on his back.

Read it all here.


Phil O.

I've never seen this film, but I was obsessed with trying to back in 1992-3, having read favorably about it (especially following Perkins' too-early death). At the time, I couldn't find a video store that stocked it, so I used my precious disposable income (I was a teenager) to mail order the VHS tape. Sadly, what I got instead was a Lorne Green-hosted documentary on monarch butterflies that went under the same name!! Perhaps it's time to try seeking this out, again.


I remember David Quaid, the cinematographer, was proud of the film. If I recall correctly, he did it as a favor to the director, Noel Black.

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