Paranoiac

Paranoiac (1963) is an odd little film. I'd never heard of it until I saw the DVD in Forbidden Planet a few months ago, and was immediately grabbed by the irresistible appeal of Oliver Reed and Hammer Films on the cover. Dealing with homicidal insanity, incest, class, death and fraud, it's a little bit all over the place. Judging by some of the imagery and and that title, I imagine Hammer were cashing in on the success of Psycho. It's well worth a couple of hours of your time though, if only for the gorgeous black and white cinematography by director Freddie Francis and director of photography Arthur Grant (plus Reed spends most of the film being menacing and drunk, which is always good fun).

What really struck me though were the simple yet effective opening credits – white Clarion over a panning shot of a rocky shoreline (pivotal to the plot). I know it's overused, but when used with some consideration, there's a timeless elegance to Clarion that you just can't beat.