Cornell Woolrich's dark and fetishistic [1937 story The Corpse Next Door] is both a source of strength and the undoing of Union City. His story is similar to Poe's The Telltale Heart in structure and while indie helmer Mark Reichert exploits its strangeness very well, he fails to flesh out the short, one actor sketch into a full-length feature.

Cornell Woolrich’s dark and fetishistic [1937 story The Corpse Next Door] is both a source of strength and the undoing of Union City. His story is similar to Poe’s The Telltale Heart in structure and while indie helmer Mark Reichert exploits its strangeness very well, he fails to flesh out the short, one actor sketch into a full-length feature.

Pic concerns a paranoid businessman (Dennis Lipscomb), obsessed with catching the mysterious culprit who steals a drink out of his milk bottle that is delivered every morning. His plain, vapid wife Lillian (Deborah Harry, in her screen debut) puts up with his increasingly bizarre behavior.

Ultimately, he captures a young war vet vagrant (Sam McMurray) in the act and releases his pent-up anger and frustration by beating the man’s head bloodily on the floor. The Hitchcockian body removal footage provides fine black humor as Lipscomb hides the corpse in a Murphy bed in the vacant apartment next door.

Union City

Production

Kinesis. Director Mark Reichert; Producer Graham Belin; Screenplay Mark Reichert; Camera Ed Lachman; Editor Lana Tokel, J. Michaels; Music Chris Stein; Art Director George Stavrinos

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1980. Running time: 87 MIN.

With

Dennis Lipscomb Deborah Harry Irina Maleeva Everett McGill Sam McMurray Pat Benatar

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