30 January 2010 | alonzoiii-1
A Good Movie from the Auteurs of Invisible Invaders
Robert E. Kent (producer) and Edward L Cahn (director) made many low budget movies together in the later 50s and early 60s. Mainly, those movies stunk. the actors generally went for the monotone variety of bad acting, the settings were cheap and unimaginative, and the off screen narrator droned on and on and on and on. One suspects these movies live on because of the monsters and aliens that populate them, and give the rather dreary proceedings some camp value.
So this movie, which IS cheap, but has no monsters, aliens, or over-talky narrators, is a shock. This one is good, surprisingly moody, and does a pretty good job of covering the plot implausibilities with interesting characters. The result is something that looks like an extended episode of Playhouse 90, given the limited sets and somewhat undistinguished acting. It even takes on an issue of the day -- capital punishment -- with some degree of seriousness, and deals with many of the philosophical concerns found in noir movies in a notably non-noir way. (This may be good or bad, depending on your point of view.) In other word, this is worth seeing, but the viewer is going to have to make some allowances for so-so acting and an over-telegraphed plot twist.