Night #4: The Man Who Haunted Himself

Before he was Bond, Roger Moore starred in this British Curio from 1970. Moore plays Mr Pelham, who manages to crash his Car in the opening moments of the film (Complete with out of place Swinging beats). While in the Hospital he briefly registers 2 heartbeats, and that’s where the fun begins.

The crash isn’t quite as accidental as may first seem. Moore suddenly gets a look over his face, unbuckles his seatbelt and drives erratically and the resultant crash is what sends him to the Hospital. Next thing you know co-workers are telling him they saw him walking down the street (Though he was in Spain at the time) and someone at the firm where he works seems to be commiting corporate espionage…

So the thrills promised by the title are not quite of the Horror variety I’m sad to say. But there’s a nice bit to digest here. Moore has a doppleganger, there’s no question about that, but he seems to be more like his Subconscious acting out the things that Moore would never usually do. He has an affair (When we’ve established that Moore can’t even bring himself to have sex with his wife), he gambles and yes; he commits corporate espionage (With this and The Stuff at the start of the month I feel like I’m watching a run of conspiracy thrillers). Hell apart from one or two moments (Mainly the affair) the film makes the case that the new improved Moore is the better man. It’s an interesting subtext that runs through the film, that Moore is slowly being replaced by his own subconscious, almost represented here as being the ‘better man’ because he isn’t equipped (Or is just too boring) to deal with modern life.

Moore shows little of the eyebrow acting that would quickly define his tenure as Bond (And his whole career in fact). Suprisingly he’s largely intorverted throughout his performance, even as the more outlandish doppleganger. He has an impressive moment when he tells someone to call the Doctor because he knows (Or thinks he knows) that he isn’t right in the head. He’s more alive as a performer here than I ever really remember him being during his tenure as Bond.

So no, not really scary, but worth the watch; and it doesn’t end the way you think it might.


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