Wind, The (1987)

Author: Josh G.
Submitted by: Josh G.   Date : 2008-04-05 13:28

Written, Directed and Produced by: Nico Mastorakis
Starring: Meg Foster, Wings Hauser and David McCallum

Reviewed by: Josh G.

From Greek director Nico Mastorakis comes a tale of mystery, murder, and trickery, all jumbled into one. Heís the creator of the Video Nasty Island of Death, the psychological thriller Blind Date, and the action slasher The Zero Boys. Nico once again returns to his deadly roots of the terror genre with 1987's The Wind, starring dreamy-eyed Meg Foster and a sickle-wielding maniac. What makes The Wind a slightly different ride into the genre is that it is both a slasher movie and a killer thriller at once. Some may argue that it belongs under suspense more than the pure evil of horror, and theyíd be correct. But with bodies falling, weapons slashing, and psychos screaming, itís not hard to pass this off as a body count flick.

Sian Anderson (Foster) is a bestselling author living with her husband John (David McCallum) in Chicago. She needs more inspiration for her next mystery novel, and North America just isnít going to cut it. She flies over to the Greek town of Monemvassia, a walled area with barely a soul in sight. Itís practically a ghost town. Elias Appleby (Robert Morley), an old goat with good intentions, shows Sian to his wifeís home where she can stay and work in peace. Sian is relaxing, taking in the fresh air and staring out into the ocean. Itís a no worry atmosphere, and Anderson sees that she will have no problem settling in. Elias does warn her about one thing though. The wind in Monemvassia is much stronger than in Chicago, and is considered to be very dangerous.

Later, Sian meets a worker of Eliasí. His name is Phil (Wings Hauser), and he seems to be a very nice American at first. But thereís something not quite right about him; something unstable. That night, Sian starts to type up some of her novel, including details of an older man being hit to death with a fireplace poker. Little does she know, Elias is firing Phil right at that moment. Phil cannot accept the seniorís decision, and strikes him in the head, just like it happened in Sianís story! When Anderson takes a break, she stares out her window, and sees Phil suspiciously digging up dirt from the ground. When he leaves, she goes to investigate. What she finds is nothing special; a shovel, a scarecrow...and a dead Mr. Appleby!

Racing back to her house, frantically trying to open her window, she encounters a confident Phil, who gives her the keys to the door. This strikes her as odd. Maybe he doesnít know she knows. Or maybe he does know, and is just playing with her until the time to die comes! Sian tries to phone out of the town, but she can only get a hold of Mrs. Appleby, who canít speak any English. The lights are going on and off, and Anderson knows itís more than just the wind. She contacts her husband, who attempts to find a police number in her area through the operator. Mrs. Appleby shows up but ends up becoming another victim to deranged lunatic Phil. Will Meg ever leave Monemvassia alive, or will she fall to the unholy power of The Wind?

The thing that first reeled me into seeing The Wind was its highly attractive artwork, where Meg Fosterís sweating character has a sickle around her neck, covered in blood. With a purple background, lightning strikes, and a miniature chase scene right on the sickle, it was hard not to just stare in amazement. Apparently, Turkey enjoyed the cover too, as they used it for a Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning poster, slightly altered to include a blue-cheeked hockey mask. Unfortunately, what was beyond the cover art was not nearly as exciting as what it made itself out to be. You are going in expecting this eerie bloodbath of a splatter flick, and what you get could more or less be considered a tame thriller with slasher elements added in.

What Nico accomplishes in this motion picture is a beautiful set with fairly good atmosphere for a film made in 1987. The Greek island is a beautiful scenic highlight, and the music feels the culture of Greece. I should know, as once being a tourist in Greece, I got a full blast of the feel, look, and comfort of it all. With Greek Mastorakis as director, there was no doubt he would know exactly what to add in. The soothing score is so well picked, you are put in Sianís shoes as the vacationer, actually grasping the laid back emotions that she should be feeling. Tense music is very eighties, UFO sound effects are subtly added, and Sian listens to tunes that are without a doubt from the filmís production era.

The story is not without flaw, and neither is the execution. When Sian finds out that Elias Appleby is dead, it should have been a shocking and horrific moment. However, itís uneventful, and I personally thought that she found out a bit too early on in the game. I like how sheís a murder mystery writer, and ends up actually starring in one of her novels, so to speak. As a main character, sheís likable and mesmerizing. Meg Fosterís eyes are simply wild, cat-like, and severely trancing. Nico gives her silly dialogue when something life threatening happens, such as a cheesy line or witty remark. She often talks to herself in multiple sentences, which is fine since thereís no one else she can really talk to, but it does get annoying and unrealistic. When Sian is typing her story, the part where old man Appleby is dying just like what she is inventing, she adds ďThere was very little blood.Ē Itís an obvious way for Nico to run away with his lack of grue scheme, but it was clever and perhaps more natural than a gush of blood seeping from Eliasí skull.

Sianís quite the intelligent author, and so is the killer. Phil cleans up after himself, he doesnít leave a big mess, and twists situations around to make Sian look crazy. Heís not a creepy psychotic, and I wouldnít call him intimidating. The film relies more on suspense and sounds rather than gore and shocks. Itís quite a slow picture, but the Greek scenes in daylight are easy to fall in love with. We once again have another sickle killer movie, though not nearly as inventive as Mountaintop Motel Massacre. You see virtually nothing when people die, and the suspense isnít inviting, but dawdling in place. Another 80s stab is the giant cell phone used by Sianís spouse John, with a flinging black rubber antenna that you have to laugh at. The slow-motion finale chase is a nice touch, and it once again showcases the wonderful town of Monemvassia. Simitar, who released poor quality VHS tapes in the past, actually did a fine job on this 1999 DVD as far as clean up goes. Itís in fullscreen and has weak extras, but I suppose the trailer is all that The Wind really needed. Itís not excellent, itís tedious, and itís definitely not a party film. Itís not bad, and repeat viewings make it better. From where your valuable time stands, itíd be wise to only Rent it!

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