The Snorkel - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Snorkel Reviews

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½ December 28, 2016
Enjoyable black-and-white Hammer Studio's 1958 thriller. A well-shot 'we-KNOW-who-dunnit' - but proving it provides the real suspense, particularly when left to the devices of a 15-year-old girl, now squarely in the target of the killer. Peter Van Eyck is exemplary as the baddie, with the ending well-worth waiting for. You can pick this one up on the 'Icons of Suspense' collection.
May 2, 2015
This was creepy. It got kind of ridiculous though that no one would be suspicious of the dude killing everyone to the point of assuming the eyewitness is a nutcase.
½ February 5, 2014
Compared to some of the more tightly acted and suspenseful films produced by Hammer in the late fifties and early sixties, this Guy Green-directed little thriller seems slight. However, no one knew how to manage what they were working with as perfectly as this studio, and these "mini-Hitchcock" films (as Hammer affectionately called them) are incredibly satisfying. This one opens with a murder, in which a man kills his wife. The act is perfectly executed within its own mystery movie logic, and Green orchestrates the set up brilliantly, hooking us with small details and little questions until the grisly final product is delivered in the form of a "perfect murder". From here, we are introduced to the killer's sketchy background, and we come to know his victim's daughter, who is immediately sure of her stepfather's crime. A cat and mouse game ensues, and the dynamic between the murderer (veteran German actor Peter van Eyck) and the teenage girl Candy (Mandy Miller) is so much fun you may forget the tragedy that drives it forward; luckily, we are reminded in the movie's final moments when a shocking, frustrating and liberating twist puts a twisted exclamation point on this little chiller.
½ November 18, 2011
Starring: Peter Van Eyck, Mandy Miller, Betta St. John, William Franklyn, and Gregoire Aslan
Director: Guy Green

Paul Decker (Van Eyck) constructs the perfect locked-room murder by drugging his wife and filling the sealed room with gas while he hides under the floor breathing through a snorkel connected to fresh air via tubes in the outside wall. He remains hidden until the body has been discovered and taken away, and with everyone believing he is across the border on business, he seems to have the perfect alibi. Everyone that is, except for his teenage step-daughter Candice (Miller) who is convinced he murdered her. Although no adults believe her, Candice continues to push and investigate on her own, and soon Decker realizes he must eliminate her, too.

"The Snorkel" is a mystery in the vein of the "Columbo" television series, in the sense that the audience is shown how the murderer sets up his "perfect crime" and the subsequent enjoyment comes from watching his said perfection be picked apart and his crimes ultimately coming to light due to something he overlooked or an attempt to stop whoever it is who is investigating him from succeeding.

Like a "Columbo" episode, the murderer here is such a vile individual that viewers can't wait to see him exposed--there's every indication that this is his second murder as part of a long-term plan to gain access to his wife's fortune, and he is so base and arrogant that his wife isn't even buried before he starts putting the moves on Candice's hot young governess (Betta St. John)--but unlike on "Columbo" we're not given insight into the entire method by which Decker commits his crime, but the film lets viewers work it out at the same time Candice does.

And that's the point where the film starts to get really fun, the point where Decker realizes that he needs to get rid of Candice, but also the point where he starts being too smart for his own good.

The film's closing minutes represent a near-perfect ending. Candice turns key parts of Decker's scheme on him, with the help of a little bit of coincidence, and sets him up for a heaping helping of poetic justice... a great pay-off for the hour's time during which we've watched Decker ooze his way across the screen with an ever-growing wish for the ability to reach into the film and beat him to a pulp.

With a script that moves so fast that we can barely notice its populated by two-dimensional characters; great performances by Peter Van Eyck, as a slimy villain you'll love to hate, and Mandy Miller, in one of her 'wounded kitten'-type roles that she so excelled at; and director Guy Green who brings across Candice's pursuit for truth with such conviction that viewers will be with her all the way, but will also wonder if her fanaticism isn't evidence that she's not just a child but also more than just a little crazy, "The Snorkel" is an excellent film from a nearly forgotten chapter in the history of Hammer Studios... from a time when they were more known for their thrillers than their technicolor Gothic horror romps.

Check it out. It's one of six undeservedly obscure films presented in the "Icons of Suspense" DVD collection.
December 3, 2010
Clever Hammer film that gets started right away, a man murders his wife by turning on the gas in her room while she's asleep and he's underneath the floor with a snorkel. Of course, the police are convinced it's a suicide but the daughter is certain it was murder. It's got some clever moments and the ending is good, but with such a simple concept it's tough to make it into a full length movie and be excellent.
September 29, 2010
Good suspense drama involves a stepfather that kills not only a father but the mother of the daughter. Then, to top it off, he tries to kill the daughter (the one that has him figured out but is ignored by everyone). One of the Hammer collection, the so-called "icons of suspense collection" written on the dvd cover jacket.

The title makes one thinks this is about scuba diving, but its not remotely related to water (at least at first). Watch the first few minutes of the film to see what I mean. Set on the Italian coast.

This one is worth seeing. In black and white 1958, the unraveling of the murder for us involves no less than the daughter's dog, Toto. The daughter isn't believed by anyone that her stepfather could be the murder. The Italian police write off everything as a suicide.

Peter van Eyck does a tremendous job as the stepfather and serial killer. The young teen daughter, Candice or Candy, is not the best actress in this suspense yarn.

I can recommend this film but it could be hard to find.
Super Reviewer
½ July 19, 2010
Even though It has a dumb name for a title The Snorkel is actually an interesting movie & WOW, What an ending!!!
May 24, 2010
Dead solid suspense film from the Hammer studios that thanks to a tight story and great acting, it will drive you nuts while you watch it play out.
March 28, 2010
Prototype Hammer mini-Hitchcock written by Jimmy Sangster plays a bit like an early Columbo and tells the story of a young girl who canĀ“t convince anyone that her stepfather is a murderer. Jack Asher lensed this interesting little Hammer thriller in glorious black and white and it's well worth a watch.
½ September 22, 2009
Very good Hammer thriller--two possible endings, and manages to use both of them.
½ October 16, 2008
creepy but slow and just ok
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