Revered by the likes of Godard, Scorsese and Tarantino, Samuel Fuller was a hobo-turned-crime reporter-turned-soldier-turned-filmmaker who made a string of tough, economical B-movies in the '50s and '60s. Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss, released back-to-back in 1963 and 1964, are among his most memorable.
Shock Corridor follows a reporter (Peter Breck) into a lunatic asylum, the Pulitzer-sniffing journo feigning insanity to try and solve a murder. The Naked Kiss, meanwhile, sees a reformed prostitute (Constance Towers) take residence in a sleepy all-American town... But can she escape her past?
Expertly shot by ace DoP Stanley Cortez (The Magnificent Ambersons), both movies were initially banned by the British censors and, even now, The Naked Kiss carries an 18 certificate.
Not surprising, really: Fuller was years ahead of his time, his films little less than celluloid treason. Who else would allegorise America as a screwed-up loony bin or take such vicious jabs at small-town hypocrisy?