The Sentinel 0.0 stars

Sentinel movie poster

There isn't a lot of it, but the scary stuff in this cold-blooded horror movie is unusually nasty. It isn't the special-effects gore that is so hard to take; it is the infinite insincerity underneath. The crowning touch is when director Michael Winner, never touted as a humanist, but never before unmasked as such a carnival sideshow huckster, gathers together a group of authentic freaks with no other intent than to give you the heebie-jeebies. With Cristina Raines, Chris Sarandon, Ava Gardner, Burgess Meredith, and Sylvia Miles. 1977.

Duncan Shepherd

  • Rated R

This movie is not currently in theaters.

Comments

Jay Allen Sanford Sept. 10, 2009 @ 8:21 p.m.

When I saw it new in theaters as a young teen, I didn't have the patience for the very gradual buildup, and I don't even remember most of the flick. It was a treat to finally re-watch, and see so many later stars like Chris Walken, Jeff Goldblum, and Beverly D'Angelo, not too mention old Hollywood faves like Burgess Meredith, Ava Gardner, and John Carradine.

It's odd how the forces of God are shown to be just as creepy and evil looking as the forces of Satan, and how both are equally uncaring about what they do to innocent humans in order to maintain the cosmic stalemate at Hell's gate??

One thing confused me, tho - were the previous Sentinels murderers, which seemed to be indicated? If so, what did the poor new girl do to deserve the crappy Sentinel gig? It was her boyfriend who allegedly had someone murdered. Then again, the boyfriend also gets killed and zombie-fied, so perhaps the murderers get "sentenced" to hang around the gate, while some innocent is forced to commit suicide and man the gate itself.

I'm also confused about why sentinels need to retire and be replaced - if they kill themselves first in order to work the gig, do they keep aging and "die" again anyway? The film suggested several sentinels had served over just a few generations -----

Anyway, lovable old Burgess Meredith was great in full creepy mode, and (very) old John Carradine was about as scary as I've ever seen! It was an unexpected treat to watch this again so many years later -

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