Screaming Mimi

Suspense around every curve!

79 min     5.5     1958     USA


A blonde night club dancer is being stalked. Will anyone believe her?


John Chard wrote:
Miss Sweden and Scooby Doo. Screaming Mimi is directed by Gerd Oswald and adapted to screenplay by Robert Bless from the novel written by Fredric Brown. It stars Anita Ekberg, Phillip Carey, Gypsy Rose Lee and Harry Townes. Music is by Mischa Bakaleinikoff and cinematography by Burnett Guffey. A woman becomes mentally unbalanced after a failed knife attack by a psychotic and has to spend time in a sanatorium. Whilst there she becomes the object of her psychiatrist obsessions. Great Dame With A Great Dane! A curio psychological film noir with horror leanings, Screaming Mimi is just a tad too nutty for its own good. It’s also weighed down by a non performance from Ekberg, who you find is purely in the piece to tantalise via her voluptuous body, and also by a colourless performance by Carey. Yet it’s a fascinating movie, a sort of car crash piece of cinema that you can’t take your eyes away from! Psycho Schematic. It’s all very lurid, sexy and bonkers, the sort of picture where alcoholic accompaniments would most likely improve the viewing experience tenfold. The characters inhabiting this world are a strange bunch, which is fun, whilst when you got entertainment establishments called Gay “N” Frisky and El Madhouse, you just know we are trawling through an off kilter city of sin and carnal desires. Unfortunately Oswald and Bless seem confused about what to do with all the provocative possibilities, rendering the narrative as confused and at times lifeless. Rose Lee is great though as she flits between manipulator and sultry proprietor, as is Townes, who underpins the whiff of mania running through the pics veins. Guffey and Bakaleinikoff offer up solid tech work, and the jazzy strains provided by Red Norvo are most welcome. It really should have been a great movie though, such promise in story and set-ups, but sadly it ends up as a faux Freudian potboiler. 5/10