#84: Sorcerer

Sorcerer (1977) — Dir. William Friedkin

Part of the Top 150 Films series

Sorcerer is a blunt and hypnotic tour de force of sight, sound and inexplicable horror that lay masculinity and the human condition completely bare. Though ostensibly a remake of The Wages of Fear, its style is much its own: raw, brutal and the stuff of nightmares. Roy Scheider is perfectly broken in the lead role; Tangerine Dream’s shrill synth music, layered over everything, heighten the atmosphere and dredge up the terrors. Friedkin’s camera glazes over most immediate violence with startling simplicity, as the characters’ internal struggles brutally linger. The dream sequences merge with the action scenes in a violent clash of pure exhilarating cinema. It’s the horrors of war, the horrors of what Friedkin seemed to see as a corporate wasteland that mirrored a human apocalypse, and of course the immediate and intense portrait of danger and survival that’s played out to this. And that’s not even mentioning the bridge!