I first learned of Images (1972) around this time last year, after I had finished watching The Eyes of Laura Mars and had fallen down a bit of a rabbit hole. It also happens to be another film listed in Kier-La Janisse’s House of Psychotic Women, and honestly, I should probably just devote one of these Octobers to watching films from the book, because they are all fantastic.
Cathryn is a children’s book author (played by Susannah Yorke, who actually wrote the book, In Search of Unicorns, which is dreamily quoted throughout the movie–very cool!) and she is experiencing some dizzying hallucinatory weirdness. This begins in her bedroom as the film opens and she is chatting with her friend Joan in a phone call sequence; suddenly another woman’s voice is on the line, cruelly informing Cathryn that her husband Hugh is sleeping with another woman. And then as if nothing happened, Joan is on the line again.
Cathryn’s husband (it’s DS9’s Odo!!) arrives home and she weepingly confronts him about the stranger’s phone call. As he is comforting her, she glances up, and it’s another man’s face! Understandably, she becomes hysterical, curling into herself on the bathroom floor, but next thing you know, it’s just Hugh again.
Cathryn and Hugh head out to their country home and things continue to morph and change for Cathryn. At one point they pull their car up on a cliff overlooking the house, and when Cathryn looks down below, she sees their car pull up to the house’s front door, with both her and Hugh getting out of it and starting to unpack their things. As this happens more and more frequently, Cathryn’s reactions become dulled to the fluctuating realities, and at times amused. It’s this detachment, that, in the end, leads to the film’s tragic ending, but along the way, it’s a fascinating and terrible trainwreck to watch unfold.
I mentioned the other day that a lot of recent horror movies are too stressful for me, but these hazy 70s-era gems, as strange and surreal as they might be, feel like a cozy comfort watches for me. Plus the vibe is off the charts, as per the two screencaps I grabbed, below. I mean, I would have watched this film based on these alone. I’ve also included a whole slew of the film’s promotional posters because there are in fact quite a few of them.
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