Mark, a studio camera assistant and amateur filmmaker, has grown up in the shadow of his father's psychological experiments, practised on him as a child. While he now experiments by filming his murders, he forms a tentative relationship with Helen, who lives with her blind mother in the same house, and wants him to illustrate her children's book about a magic camera. But Mark cannot resist his murderous compulsion and finally films his own death.
Peeping Tom had an incredible reputation when I was a film student in the sixties - out of Jim McBride's fascination with it came his David Holzman's Diary (1967). Then, in 1979, I was able to help finance the re-release of Peeping Tom in its complete version by Corinth Films. I insisted on having my name on the poster along with Michael's, which was like a fantasy come true. Somehow it seems ridiculous to try to talk like a critic about a film that is so extraordinary in the way it deals with the complexity of film and reality. A friend once called me on the phone when it was showing on American television to say that the line “All this filming, it's not healthy”, reminded him of me. I said, “That's the beauty of it!” I always felt that Peeping Tom and Otto e mezzo (Fellini's 8 1/2, 1963) are the two great films that deal with the philosophy and the danger of film-making.
Martin Scorsese (Foreword of Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger: Arrows of Desire)