Random Film of the Week(end), Too: The Night Digger (The Road Builder)

(Thanks, Night of the Trailers!) 

the night diggerI used to get The Night Digger and The Night Visitor confused when I was younger, but that’s since been rectified (and nope, I’ve been fortunate enough to NOT confuse any of them with The Night Porter). Both films are from 1971 and bother are psychological thrillers, with the former film being the more “horror” oriented one on a few fronts. However, neither is a straight up slasher flick and both have elements that make them superior to typical genre entries.

Here, Patricia Neal gives a powerful performance as Maura Prince, a woman living with and caring for her blind mother Edith (Pamela Brown), with both women falling prey to the charms of the handsome young Billy (Nicholas Clay) who rides up one day on his sleek motorbike and asks for a job. He’s not just good with his tools, folks… he’s also a violent sex criminal and murderer who has a handy way of disposing of his victims. In a bizarre twist (one of a few the film socks you with), the film turns into a very strange love story where you may find yourself rooting for that emotion to take hold and win over all, but there’s that air of inevitability and gloom thanks to the plot turning as it does and a beautiful and haunting Bernard Herrmann score that will raise a few hackles (if you haven’t gone and shaved them off like the kids do with their hair in certain spots, ewww)…
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