Curtis Harrington was an authentic cineaste whose early work was entirely experimental. Among the films he worked on before branching out on his own (as an actor and a cinematographer) were Kenneth Anger`s Puce Moment (1949) and Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1954). Reportedly, he was involved with Maya Deren, and certainly sang her praises throughout his life. Rather than continuing in the avant-garde vein, Harrington’s first feature film was the nightmarish cult oddity Night Tide (1961). It’s been dubbed a horror film, but the label isn’t entirely adequate. Elements of James Whale, Jean Cocteau, Val Lewton, andEdgar Allan Poe are like layered slivers in this ethereal mermaid opus.