William Castle's I Saw What You Did didn't have one of his more famous gimmicks when it was released, aside from a few theaters that installed seatbelts to prevent people from getting scared out of their seats. Good thing they didn't invest a lot in that gimmick as there's nothing remotely scary in this movie. But I found it fun and kind of charming nonetheless!
Two teenage girls spend their evening making crank calls, usually saying ominously, "I saw what you did, and I know who you are." One of those calls ends up being to a man (John Ireland) who has just murdered his wife. CRANK CALLS ARE DANGEROUS!
This was Joan Crawford's second film with William Castle (Strait-Jacket came out the year before), and let me tell you, I was mighty confused by her character's introduction in the film. At first I thought she was the murderer's mother, but then they end up making out. Yikes! No, she's just a neighbor who's in love with him, and she has maybe five minutes of total screen time in the whole thing.
Strait-Jacket is probably the better Crawford and Castle collaboration, but I Saw What You Did is more fun. It reminded me a little bit of Halloween (there are some moments in Halloween that seem to be directly inspired by I Saw), and, with its two teenage leads, a little bit of The World of Henry Orient, one of my all-time fave movies. Just imagine that one, but with Henry Orient turning out to be a murderous psycho.
I watched I Saw What You Did on Scream Factory's 2016 Blu-ray release, which is a great print. Here's a tip: if you're looking for movies that aren't currently streaming anywhere (which this one is not) try your local library. I've found San Francisco's library system to be chock full of DVDs and Blu-rays, and it has definitely come in handy this month!