NEITHER THE SEA NOR THE SAND (1972)
Article 2337 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-19-2007
Posting Date: 1-5-2008
Directed by Fred Burnley
Featuring Susan Hampshire, Frank Finlay, Michael Petrovitch
A woman on vacation has an affair with a young man. She is devastated when he dies. But then he appears at her door, seemingly alive, the next day…
If you sat through the first forty minutes of this movie, you probably wouldn’t think there was any fantastic content to it, and the title certainly doesn’t give it away. It’s only with the lover’s return from the dead that the fantastic content manifests itself. I’ve seen him alternately described as a ghost and a zombie; I do know that he doesn’t eat, he has trouble motivating his movements (though not always), and he speaks without opening his mouth. IMDB classifies it as Fantasy, Horror and Romance, all of which fit, but none of which quite encapsulates this rather curious movie. In particular, I’m not sure whether it works well as either a romance or a horror story; the more overtly horrific the movie becomes, the more it feels forced. In particular, I’m not sure whether the character of the lover’s brother really is necessary, though he’s an interesting character. And the scene where she kisses the zombie/ghost and ends up revolted by the taste of death on him isn’t going to endear itself to romance fans. Still, the basic premise about love outlasting death is a fairly old idea that has popped up many times, and this is largely a rather odd take on the same subject. All in all, it’s interesting, but not quite satisfying, and could easily bore those expecting something more horrific.