It’s an odd, languid, beautiful, frustrating giallo that is really only held together by Farmer’s fantastic performance and the audience’s willingness to go along with the notable amount of nothing in so many of the scenes.
Because 1962 was still in the grips of the 1950s, Panic in Year Zero touts the benefits of survival through rampant commercialism. Harry, who very sensibly takes about a thousand bucks in cash with him on fishing trips, soon realizes that there’s nothing in L.A. to go back to, and money is all they’ve got to help them survive. He systematically purchases guns, gas and food… or at least tries to, but is thwarted at every turn by raging selfishness, like when a hardware store owner doesn’t want to take his $200 check. Hey, Harry’s just trying to screw the guy over, as is his God-given right. What’s the problem?
Fritz Lang’s Spies (Spione, 1928) is gorgeous, as all of Lang’s silents are, full of art deco designs and sharp-edged shadows and perfectly posed extras set amongst some truly stunning visual effects, impressive today, but so incredible at the time that they must have been nearly indistinguishable from magic.
Hitch Hike (Autostop rosso sangue) (1977) is one of the more original and esoteric of the 1970s exploitation flicks, primarily thanks to the unpredictable relationship that develops between Adam, Eve and Walter.
Fantômas, a series of five films by Louis Feuillade released in 1913 and 1914, follows the eponymous criminal as he steals, seduces and murders his way through Paris. Based on a popular pulp novel series of the same name…