The Fool Killer
Based on the novel by Helen Eustis
Edward Albert Jr., Anthony Perkins, Henry Hull, Dana Elkar,
In post–Civil War Tennessee, a young boy (Edward Albert Jr.) escapes abuse at home only to encounter Americana gone berserk, Johnny Appleseed gone to seed, in this eerily faithful rendering of Helen Eustis’s 1954 novel. He finds a “brother” in Milo (Anthony Perkins), a brain-damaged war vet living wild. But the violence the war unleashed, symbolized by the title fantasy, threatens their idyll. The fine Mexican cinematographer Alex Phillips Jr. seeks the American psyche in landscape and zooms in on Perkins’s assets—tenderness and surprise—in this forgotten film well worth rediscovering.