"Night Tide" makes extensive use of the Venice, California milieu in which the story is set, telling the story of a lonely sailor (Dennis Hopper) who is attracted to Mora (Linda Lawson), a young woman who enacts the role of a mermaid in one of the sideshows on the pier. Mora, her guardian, and several of the people who make up the sideshow subculture hint at the possibility of a terrible secret about Mora's past loves and perhaps her true otherworldly nature, and the film takes off from there. The streets of Venice (as it appeared in the early '60s when the film was made) are turned into a shadowy, bizarre landscape through the excellent photography and editing, and the colorful supporting characters contribute to the strange, dreamlike mood. Performances are uniformly excellent and right, from the leads to minor characters. Director/writer Curtis Harrington, in his feature debut, has made a low-key suspense/fantasy film that, like the films of Val Lewton in the 1940s (Cat People, The Seventh Victim, et. al.), substitutes our dread of monsters for the monsters themselves and keeps us guessing until the end. Though not well-known except in cult cinema circles, this is a beautifully-done, effective film you can watch again and again.