Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

UNMAN, WITTERING, AND ZIGO


UNMAN, WITTERING AND ZIGO (1971). Director: John MacKenzie.

On his first day on the job at a boys' school, teacher John Ebony (David Hemmings) is told by his teenage male students that they killed his predecessor and will in all likelihood kill him if he doesn't stay in line! Ebony isn't quite certain whether or not to believe them but the feeling of paranoia and danger persists and intensifies. This should have been a crackling thriller, and it does hold the attention, but somehow it's just never believable. Hemmings gives a very good performance, and he gets good support from Douglas Wilmer as the Headmaster, and Carolyn Seymour as Ebony's wife. Some of the boys are good actors as well. But you may feel that you've sat through a real shaggy dog story. The title refers to the last three names on the alphabetical class list; Zigo is never there.

Verdict: Intriguing but disappointing. **.

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