Two models are stranded in a motor cruiser in the middle of the ocean. It’s only meant to be a publicity stunt, a way of stirring up interest in the boat itself; but they soon prove to be in real trouble. They’re set upon by a 16th century galleon enshrouded by a fog. They each board the ghost ship, and each one disappears. Soon, the sporting goods magnate who hired the two girls sets out to find them. He is joined by his conniving right-hand man; the head of the modeling agency; a third model who is a lover to one of the missing girls; and a scientist from the weather bureau who is convinced something supernatural is going on. They all end up on the galleon, where they discover its crew are the undead Satan-worshiping Knights Templar.
***ROMAN POLANSKI CREATION*** Described by Polanski himself as his best film, Cul-de-sac draws heavily on the traditions of the Theatre of the Absurd and echoes of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot in both it’s themes and visual style. A wounded criminal and his dying partner take refuge at a beachfront castle. The owners of the castle, a meek Englishman and his willful French wife, are initially the unwilling hosts to the criminals. Quickly, however, the relationships between the criminal, the wife, and the Englishman begin to shift in humorous and bizarre fashion.
The fact that there isn’t a single likeable character in Cul de Sac does not diminish its artistic value in the least. Ageing, furtively kinky Donald Pleasence is married to sexy young Francoise Dorleac. The couple’s hermitlike tranquility is shattered when wounded gangsters Jack MacGowan and Lionel Stander invade their home and hold them hostage. As Dorleac urges her tremulous husband to do something, the two criminals begin behaving in a fashion that can only inadequately be described as eccentric. Drawing upon two of Polanski’s favorite themes-isolation and latent insanity–Cul de Sac actually improves upon each viewing, assuming that the viewer has the intestinal fortitude to sit through it once.
Charlie is an expert bricklayer. He has lots of fun and work and enjoys himself greatly while at the saloon. As he leaves work his wife takes the pay he has hidden in his hat. But he steals her purse so he can go out for the evening. He has a terrible time getting home on a very rainy night. When he does so he finds his wife waiting for him with a rolling pin.