The Glass Cage (1964)

Genre: 60's Experimental Thriller

The glass cage is a good mid-60’s psychological thriller with plenty of trippy experimental camera work.

The film begins with the shooting of a man followed by a voice of a girl calling the police to inform them of an intruder.

Lt. Max Westerman (John Hoyt, who also co-wrote the screenplay) and Sgt. Jeff Bradley (Bob Kelljan) arrive to investigate and soon the timid and mentally vulnerable girl (Arlene Martel) admits to shooting the man.
Max starts to become romantically involved with the girl and he soon realizes things aren’t what they seem.

How involved was the girl’s devious sister? What was that scar on the girl’s arm and why can’t she talk about her evangelist father? How involved was the nosey beatnik artist neighbour who can’t stand rejection?

From the murder at the beginning, this low budget film is filled with wonderfully creative camera work consisting of strange angles, hallucinatory dream scenes and staggered still frames.

 All the characters are eccentric, notably King Moody as Tox, the unbalanced beatnik artist – a character whose father wanted him to be a trash collector, but instead went against his wishes and became a painter - his studio/pad being an extension of his own dementedness. Elisha Cook Jr. is also equally crazed as the girl’s father.

Antonio Santean, directed the movie, but it sadly seems he didn’t direct any more.
The film is only let down in one scene by the appearance of the mike, but apart from that, this low-budget film is imaginatively made and the black and white photography and warped camera angles really helps to instil the feeling of madness and mental alienation.

This is one of those great obscure 60’s artefacts that’s worth tracking down and watching in a darkened room.

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