Year Released: 2002
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 20 minutes
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“The Water Rope” is a short film from Connecticut which has the creepy, enigmatic feeling of a classic Japanese horror tale. A young sailor on shore leave in an unfamiliar town is accosted by a weird old woman, whose advances he rudely spurns. The old woman is actually part of a coven of witches and she is transformed into a beautiful siren. Naturally the sailor prefers the sleek younger model to the old hag and he follows her with newly-minted love. With the onlooking approval of a trio of equally glamourous sister witches, this hot siren takes the smitten sailor to the water’s edge, strips his clothing from his body, and leads him into the waves. The water, however, claims him in revenge for his earlier rudeness and his life ends within the fatal grasp of the undertow…or does it?
Created and directed by acclaimed playwright and first-time filmmaker Tom Deedy, “The Water Rope” is blessed with the good fortune of having Charles D. Cissel as the ill-fated sailor and (especially) Kate Downey as the sexy siren-of-doom. Their scenes together, particularly when she strips off his clothing and lures him into the water, are so erotically charged that it is a surprise the camera didn’t melt from the heat. Deedy bravely decided not to make the sailor a callous youth (Cissel’s character identifies himself as 35), which makes the story all the more jolting by having its protagonist as someone who grew up but didn’t grow wise. Credit is also required for actor Tom Kelly as the gregarious warlock who reigns over this seaside witches’ lair and to Peter Detmold, who fashioned a subtle yet chilling musical score that frames the story with the proper acoustic sense of unease.
If there is a problem with “The Water Rope,” it comes in the rather leisurely editing. Scenes have a tendency to dribble on longer than required, with a sense of Warholian real time in viewing such activities as crossing a street or walking in front of a maritime-inspired street mural. However, the need for tighter editing may help to speed the plot along…but then again, when you have someone as drop-dead gorgeous as the bewitching Kate Downey strutting down the street, on camera, real time viewing is probably not such a bad idea!
Posted on November 5, 2002 in Reviews by Phil Hall
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