The Evictors ★★★★½

The October Ordeal day #4b: The Evictors

Charles B. Pierce's films are legitimately nightmarish: Feverish, amoral, distancing, familiar but somehow "wrong". The strategies and habits of classical Hollywood cinema are present, only perverted and submerged. This one ditches the faux- documentary style of his best-known work but is equally rusted and presentational. While Pierce doesn't want anything from the viewer, The Evictors demands careful attention and concentration.

Gorgeous wide-lensed compositions create plenty of space for folks to live in. The print on Netflix Watch Instantly is substantially faded but it's a diffuse film anyway, thanks to Pierce's signature meticulous repurposing of natural light. Seeing Jessica Harper, Michael Parks and Vic Morrow work in various configurations is a privilege. Has anybody even written anything comparing Pierce to Terrence Malick? I could throw my homework in the trash and watch this ten times. A fell universe.