Night Tide (1961) - Horror, Thriller

Hohum Score



A young sailor falls in love with a mysterious woman, performing as a mermaid at the local carnival. He soon comes to suspect the girl might be a real mermaid, who draws men to a watery death during the full moon.

IMDB: 6.4
Director: Curtis Harrington
Stars: Dennis Hopper, Linda Lawson
Length: 86 Minutes
PG Rating: N/A
Reviews: 11 out of 54 found boring (20.37%)

One-line Reviews (32)

I recently picked up a cheapie DVD version (its cover actually manages to misspell Lawson's name twice as "Larson") from a bin at a dollar store down at appropriately seedy Rockaway Beach; and though I can see why I fell in love with the sexy dark-haired Lawson, a real beauty, and still admire the film's haunting atmosphere and its excellent black-and-white photography, it is a bit more talky and slow-moving than I'd recalled, and owes a bit more to Val Lewton's "Cat People" than I'd first realized.

Then, he learns her previous boyfriends died mysteriously… Curtis Harrington's "Night Tide" is absorbing, atmospheric, and hypnotic.


I thought this would be another of those dull, pointless things that are part of video collections.

The performances are adequate and realistic, with Hopper conveying a proper balance of lovestruck awe and confusion; Lawson is fittingly remote and enigmatic.

Well starting off, it had a very slow pace.

Thanks to its dreamy cinematography by Vilis Lapenieks (though an uncredited Floyd Crosby did the studio interiors), the evocative carnival/sea-side setting (partly filmed at Venice Beach, which I visited a number of times while in L.

The movie's slow, haunting and entertaining as a period piece where you get to see beatniks partying on the beach and other intriguing things.

It's slowly paced and isn't for rabid horror fans, but it has some very fine moments and is well worth watching overall.

The movie has it's share of thrilling moments - intense moments.

The film is directed by Curtis Harrington who directed a handful of low budget horror movies in the sixties and seventies and obviously has some talent; as the low budget of this one is excellently masked by his stylish direction and constantly fascinating plot line.

If the bar had been in New Orleans or the beach in the Caribbean, well, OK, but these things felt contrived and didn't jibe with the overall decor.

I couldn't help but feel the desire when, stranded like Joel on my sadly solo Satellite of Love sofa, as my cats channeled Crow and Tom Servo, that my viewing experience was, despite my exciting Wilson/Hopper epiphany, nonetheless, a rather vacuous experience.

He invites Johnny to his home which contains some intriguing and frightening sea-faring curios.

The film is very intriguing for the first hour and after that it does go off the boil a little and the final third is not so good.


intriguing offbeat oddity .

One wishes that the film had a bit more flair or at least a little more energy because it's slow pace can drag a bit at times.

All in all, it is an intriguing film with some horrific undertones.

The nightmare sequences are awkward but intriguing, the mood and tone of the film is pleasingly dark and empty.

It's an OK period piece, documenting the change in the way movies would be made, but you are sure to get bored before the end comes.

This film is worth watching if you enjoy thrillers, mysteries, odd-films, artfully styled films and even mermaids.

Spoiler near the end -NIGHT TIDE is an intriguing film that seems to contain various subplots.

I fell asleep during the middle of this movie....

"Night Tide" is an extremely slow, black-and-white character study about a sailor (Dennis Hopper) who falls in love with a sideshow performer who may -- or may not be -- descended from a race of mermaids.

While sometimes a bit too slow and static (the opening third in particular is kind of blah), overall this compellingly creepy and off-beat indie fright film is well worth checking out.

Well photographed and scripted, the dialogue is tightly focused and delivered with precision - Harrington has crafted a compelling pocket-sized thriller that culminates in a climax that's sudden, shocking and sure to please.

Still, Harrington's NIGHT TIDE is an original and unique movie that is worth watching.

Still, the ending (while slightly disappointing), is well done and intriguing enough.

Through the lens of adolescent angst that I saw it through, this is a movie about unbearable loneliness, brilliantly captured by Dennis Hopper, whose only way out of his loneliness is through a beautiful woman from another world that he can't fully understand.

I stumbled across this movie on late night TV, back in the early days of UHF, when, at 13 or 14, it was very exciting to me to have new channels that were so low budget that they showed things that, in the light of mainstream, 3 channel, VHF programming, seemed very much like they were being beamed in from another galaxy.

); the hero’s nightmares which see Lawson metamorphose first into an octopus and then into Cameron herself; the scene in which Hopper finds Lawson mysteriously tied to the pier; and the suspenseful climax (following the girl’s ‘inexplicable’ underwater attack on Hopper, the latter confronts Muir at his tent and is shown Lawson’s drowned body, while being threatened with a gun – then we cut away and, on resuming the scene, find that Muir has been disarmed).