Apparently I had this on my Amazon Prime watch list for a long time, and when I came across it I wondered why it was even there. Then I saw Lyle Talbot in the opening credits. Then I remembered. A handsome guy back in the 1930's who was a big movie star in his day. Well, he wasn't handsome anymore and I was ready to chuck this turkey. But something told me I should keep watching, and I did. Boy, am I glad.
I'm surprised Lyle got involved in this production. Because from start to finish it was so BAD. Everything from the acting to the script. I'll never forget Talbot sitting at his inspector's desk talking to Steve Reeves and expecting us to believe he was having a real conversation with someone! The script might not have been in his hands but I could "see" it!
The actor playing the doc's son was wooden and very unappealing (sorry, if by any chance you're related to him). I was wondering how the actor playing his father could keep a straight face. His partner in crime, Vic, was a little too good, if you know what I mean. All that was missing was the mirror he practiced in front of. But the actor did manage to keep my interest going throughout the film.
There's a lot of scenes that were unintentionally funny. Like the female employee who ran off from the scene of the night watchman's murder and then getting shot in the back as she ran up the theatre aisle. Hee hee. Then she was brought out on a stretcher by the paramedics and placed on that drab-looking couch like a sack of potatoes, the actors making sure to set her down right, making sure she didn't roll off.
I laughed out loud when Don, the doc's son, was shot "neat and clean" by Vic in his living room, and the dramatic way he fell to the floor dead. Of course, he gets to do it again when his dad opens up some closet or whatever off the side of the kitchen later in the film.
The whole plot was illogical. That's what I couldn't get over with. How did the doc remain so composed knowing his son just fell onto the kitchen floor dead one room over? Maybe Charles Bronson would have kept his cool but not doc here. It's too bad Ed Wood didn't show us how Vic wrapped up in all his face bandages managed to drag the son out to dispose of him in the river in the middle of the night. That might have been the highlight of the film!
The old cars were a real hoot. The night shots a little too dark. I wanted to see the real neighborhood used for on-location filming. But then that's me.
About the ending. It wasn't the face reveal that was a surprise. No. It was the fact that Vic was able to get away from a room full of police officers! And, yes, I was still waiting for Don's sister to use that gun that she put in her purse when she left to go with her father to Vic's place. Too bad she didn't take it out when Vic was running away from the police. That would have been the icing on the cake!
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