Despite Dennis Hopper’s good performance as an innocent sailor on leave in Venice,California, this is a waste of time. It tries for strange but ends up being silly and dull with lots of bad acting along the way.
Johnny Drake (Dennis Hopper) is on leave in Venice,California and stops into a coffee house with a good Jazz combo. He’s attracted to a girl sitting by herself and joins her. An older woman comes by and speaks Greek to her. She gets upset and leaves. Johnny follows her.
He walks her home and finds out her name is Mora (Linda Lawson). She has an apartment above the merry-go-round at an amusement pier. She plays Mora The Mermaid in a side show. Of course they become involved.
Johnny meets the merry-go-round operator and his granddaughter Ellen (Luana Anders). She tells him two of Mora’s previous boyfriends were murdered. The phone rings. It’s for Johnny. No one is on the line. Outside he spots the woman from the coffee house. He follows her to Sam Murdock’s house. He runs the Mermaid show. He ran across Mora as an orphan on a Greek island.
He tells Johnny the legend of the Sirens in Greek Mythology and hints that Mora may be one of the sea people. He warns Johnny that he’s in danger. A tarot card reader also told him he was in danger.
Back at Mora’s apartment she’s taking a bath and Johnny sacks out on the couch. He has a dumb dream that wakes him up. Mora’s gone. He follows her footprints to the sea. She’s in the water under the pier. He carries her back to her place.
The movie continues on its dumb way from there. It’s a total bust and not worth wasting time watching, even for Hopper’s performance.
Luana Anders reunited with Hopper when she played Lisa in “Easy Rider” in 1969.