This quirky black sex comedy is one of the great lost films of the late 1960’s. From Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski, Deep End captures the sense of impending dread and spiritual breakdown at the end of the decade like no other movie.
Set in London but largely shot in Munich, and featuring a memorable, sexually predatory cameo by Diana Dors, Deep End takes place in and around a suburban public baths and swimming pool.
John Moulder-Brown stars as 15-year-old school leaver Mike – a teenage psychopath who gets a job at the Newford baths in a decidedly un-swinging London.
Mike learns to exploit his looks by flirting with the women and encouraging them to fantasise about him.
He develops an enormous crush on doe-eyed older co-worker Susan (Jane Asher) but, looking upon him as a boy, she rejects his advances by telling him she is engaged.
Her constant teasing drives him wild and her affair with the (sleazy and married) swimming instructor infuriates him. Crazed with his obsessive love, he plots to break them up, stalking Susan and her lover through the seedy strip clubs of London by night. His plot to sabotage their relationship ends with tragic consequences.
Fantasy, reality and a dash of absurdist humour course through Skolimowski’s film, with visual symbolism and foreshadowing pointing to Deep End’s unsettling climax.
Karl Michael Vogler