The Sentinel

July 28, 2008 at 10:40 pm (Movies) (, , , )

I watched The Sentinel after finishing the book it was based upon by Jeffrey Konvitz. The book was given to me by my neighbor, Troy, after I asked him to lend me something that would give me nightmares.

Things that give me nightmares:

1. Catholicism

2. Apartment hunting

3. Old people

Things that give me nightmares in this movie?

All of the above.

Released in 1977, The Sentinel stars Cristina Raines as New York model Alison Parker on the hunt for an over-priced New York brownstone. She finds one through a real estate agent, played by an aging Ava Gardner, moves in, and starts to realize that her new luxury abode wasn’t all that it was advertised as. First, there is the reclusive priest who can be seen from the street learing out of his window at the passers-by. Then, there’s the weird old man upstairs, Charles Chazen, who thinks his cat and bird can speak English (Played by Burgess Meredith, whom you may remember as the trainer in Rocky). Finally, there’s two lesbians (one of which is played by Beverly D’Angelo) who invite Alison over and then proceed to dry-hump each other in front of her.

Oh, and it turns out, that none of the preceding people actually exist, and the apartment building is deserted except for the reclusive priest. I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but holy shit. Mystical, Catholic mayhem ensues as Alison tries desperately to find out why she is the only person who can see the creepy cast of characters living in her apartment building, all the while trying to convince her douchey lawyer boyfriend (Played by the dude that played Prince Humperdinck in The Princess Bride) that she isn’t suffering from a good old-fashioned case of feminine “hysteria.” Throw in a climatic final scene complete with real-life disfigured people and circus freaks and you’ve got 92 minutes of creepy Catholic goodness. Look out for Christopher Walkin and Jeff Goldblum in bit parts as a detective and photographer, respectively.

In other news, I myself have found new digs across town where I hear rumors of a magical bus line that doesn’t take and hour and a half to get me downtown. I do have neighbors below me, but they’re fun, older ladies that were whooping it up on the front porch when I checked the place out. And I didn’t see a crucifix anywhere in the place.


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