Directed by - Michael Powell
Starring - Karlheinz Bohm.
Mark Lewis is a strange man. He loves being behind the camera and works in a filming studio. His sexual repression is only released by the murder, and filmings of said murders of young women. Watching their fear as he goes. When he meets a woman who shows the affection he's craved his entire life Marks life changes and his secrets become harder to conceal especially from his new love interests blind but all seeing mother!
Made in 1960 when a certain Hitchcock horror movie was reaching great success, Powell's Peeping Tom was greeting with much less appeasement. Critics tore this film a new one. Powell never really had any success after that and the film was not appreciated until many years later. Now it is seen as a classic and praised the way it should have been 50 years ago.
Voyeurism is the main theme, at the time this was probably a taboo subject, even for a horror movie. While Peeping Tom wouldn't be classed as a horror movie to today's standards, the idea of having someone shove a camera in my face as he pokes a sharpened tripod leg into my throat is pretty horrific to me!
The best thing about this film is it's character development. At first glance Mark Lewis could be seen as just your run of the mill pervert but delving deeper, and seeing what his childhood and life is like, he become a sympathetic character. Craving some female influence and love. His father's treatment of him and how he used him in his own cruel experiments is difficult to comprehend.
The cinematography is beautiful to the eye. Every scene is crafted well, every line written and delivered is perfect, the violence is very tame for the average or hardened horror viewer of today but put yourself back 50 years you can feel that these scenes would have shocked an audience to the core. The only issue is the way the story just plods along. It can feel quite slow at times. This could be because I've become used to todays fast paced slashers. Even so it's enjoyable to watch.
I loved Peeping Tom from the first time I seen it years ago. It doesn't get the reception is deserves.