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YMMV / Peeping Tom

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  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Since Helen doesn't run screaming from Mark once she discovers the truth, maybe she has a bit of a Nightmare Fetishist side to her - and she and Mark are similar. She notably becomes attracted to Mark after seeing the films of his father scaring him. Or maybe her attraction to him is rooted in feeling sorry for him? As a writer herself, she might be attracted to his tragic childhood.
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  • Crosses the Line Twice: The star of the film Mark is working on has a reaction to seeing a red hat (after they've found Viv's body). She has a hilariously over the top scream, and the director is more annoyed about the filming being delayed again.
  • Funny Moments: An old man purchases some "views"—some scandalous photos—alongside a copy of the newspaper from Mark's boss, then almost leaves without taking the newspaper. Mark's boss has this gem in response:
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The film used a cartoon catchphrase as a throwaway gag. More than six decades later, the catchphrase is still very well known to everyone everywhere.
  • Irony as She Is Cast: Not in Peeping Tom, but years later Anna Massey was cast by Alfred Hitchcock in Frenzy. Massey's Helen survived, while in Frenzy her character is murdered by the serial killer, also in London. Michael Powell had started out working for Hitchcock in his early British films, and Peeping Tom came to be regarded as precursor to Psycho.
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  • Nightmare Face: Staring at yourself as your inevitable murder comes upon you.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Viv only appears in the middle of the film as Mark's second victim. It adds up to about fifteen minutes of screen time. But she's such a lovable Genki Girl that it makes her demise all the more tragic.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Some find it rather genteel by modern movie standards. Given the use of the Gory Discretion Shot (which was mandated by censors) it can be surprising to find that this was so controversial.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: The film is instantly recognisable as a 1960s piece by the fashions and vibrant color palette, which resembles many of the Op and Pop art movements of the day. The technology on the film sets is state of the art for the early 60s, as is the tape recorder that Viv has on her person - a Grundig Cub which had been released just a year before the film started production. The film's comparison between Mark's fetish and the porn in the newsagents is indicative of how the public was slowly getting more aware of porn being public - and the fact that an older 'respectable' gentleman has to secretly ask for some naughty pictures shows that the film was made before magazines like Playboy and Penthouse were mainstream. Films too would become Hotter and Sexier by the time the decade was over.
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  • Values Dissonance: When Helen watches the video of Mark spying on the kissing couple, she says "I hope you were spanked for that" - right before she objects to Mark's father scaring him all the time.
  • Vindicated by History: Viewed as trashy and exploitative at the time, it's now seen as a classic of the horror genre.
    Michael Powell: "I make a film that nobody wants to see and then, thirty years later, everybody has either seen it or wants to see it."


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