Sunday, 15 May 2011

Yul Brynner Brings It As ...

The Ultimate Warrior

Set in a future decimated by a plague, the Spartan populace of New York City is dispersed into pockets of survivalist groups. The civilised, the lawless and the scavengers each battle to survive in a world where food and water supplies are sparse. The cultivation of new crops is nigh on futile due to ecological devastation. There is hope, however, in the guise of Cal, a horticulturalist who has rediscovered successful seed growth in soil. He resides with the Baron (Max Von Sydow) in a fortified sanctuary within the city. Under the leadership of the Baron the people of this community have security and hope, but across the street resides Carrot (William Smith), a physically dominant figure of leadership to his anarchic followers. Carrot wants what the Baron has, and will do anything to acquire it !.

Fate plays its hand when a lone stranger appears one day. A warrior for hire, prominently standing for all to see in the centre of the dilapidated city. The Baron steps out from his protective haven with a small band of protective men, his intention to offer the stranger food and shelter in exchange for his services. Initially giving no response or indication of acceptance to the proposition made, the Baron makes his way back to his stronghold, but he and his men are set upon by the street scavengers. To their aid comes the stranger, bare chest displaying his strong physique, and a knife wielded in his hand clearly showing his intent. This man for hire is clearly all that the Baron believed him to be, a warrior !.

Yul Brynner is The Ultimate Warrior, and in great shape for such a physical role here at the age of fifty five, clearly setting a great example to the future senior Action stars of today who too have maintained their health and fitness regimes, enabling them to still be doing the physically demanding roles with believability, such as Sylvester Stallone. Brynner’s character introduces himself to the Baron as Carson. The Baron sees in him a man of honour and the perfect person he has been waiting for to entrust with a mission to benefit the future of mankind.

With Carrot and his mob gaining greater strength, and becoming more of a threat to him and his peoples good intentions, the Baron entrusts Carson with the sustainable plant seeds and the protection of his child bearing daughter. Carson tells the Baron that there is an island off the coast where decent people have settled, and are together striving to rebuild a new world together. He gives his word that he will get the seeds to them to continue Cal’s work, along with the Baron’s daughter and child to be.

The first part of the movie sets the scene of the plague decimated world environment, and dresses the screen stage of opposing factions fighting to survive in the dilapidated landscape of New York City. The second act plays out like condensed chapters of good and evil torn from the very bible itself !. A bleak yet intelligent story interwoven with a parable of hope, with the seed of life growing in the womb of a mother, and life giving seeds carried by a strong and good man to a new beginning !.

Yul Brynner puts in a solid performance, and Max Von Sydow delivers a consummate characterisation, in a decently developed production, well delivered under the experienced direction of Robert Clouse (Enter The Dragon 1973). William Smith plays the archetypal villain of the piece once again with screen stealing menace, soon leading him to one of the most memorable villainous roles ever as Falconetti in the epic television Best Sellers series Rich Man, Poor Man (1976).

Carson takes the seeds, and the Baron’s pregnant daughter surreptitiously away from the flailing colony, exiting underneath the compound, down into the long since dormant underground tube way system. Their departure does not however go unnoticed, and word soon reaches Carrot, who deploys his best trackers to stop their escape.

The underground setting is very well structured and dressed, convincingly portraying the look of a future ravaged period set almost forty years on from the films production back in 1975.

With a heavily pregnant young woman under his guardianship, and a band of thugs hunting him down, Carson has his hands full. Things get even tougher as the mother to be goes into early labour, and having to stop, in order to facilitate the birth, Carson must truly prove himself to be The Ultimate Warrior as Carrot himself catches up to them !.

Terrific stuff, and a movie that still holds up extremely well today. The role of Carson was as perfectly sculpted for the role of Yul Brynner as you could ever imagine, and it stands tall as an enduring representation to the quality of its genre and time. The visual introduction of Yul Brynner standing resplendent and proud, at the beginning of the movie, is a memorable tribulation to the screen presence of this movie great, and the gruelling conclusion to his fight with William Smith, as Carrot, is what good old fashioned, gutsy Action film making, is all about.

The Ultimate Warrior Movie Clip

Movie Details IMDB

Sunday, 8 May 2011

African Witch Doctor Prescribes Terror In ...

Curse Of The Voodoo

A stock and schlock British chiller, thriller from the sixties. Schlock horror from maverick Canadian Director Lindsay Shonteff, with stock wildlife footage integrated into an African backdrop setting. A slow paced excursion that delves into the world beyond the tangible, and into that of tribal voodooists. Only the bold and the brave dare dismiss … The Curse Of The Voodoo !.

Mike Stacey (Bryant Haliday) is a big game hunter out in Africa with a party of people, headed up by experienced resident hunter and tracker friend Major Lomas (Dennis Price), who has to hunt down and finish the kill of a lion, shot by an inexperienced guy out for the thrill of the kill. Stacey treks off into the bush land with one of his native trackers, crossing over into the lands of the Simbaza tribe. The Simbaza being practitioners of voodoo, and worshipers of the mighty lion, a beast that is sacred to their beliefs.

The wounded lion is shot and killed by Mike Stacey deep into Simbaza territory, but not before Stacey is injured himself during the hunt, and the Simbaza very quickly become aware of the act. Stacey and his hunting party are paid a visit by the natives that very evening at their camp. Squaring up to Stacey the Simbaza witch doctor visually sizes him up. The imposing warriors then turn away from the camp and disappear back into the jungle whence they came. Back at the Simbaza camp the witch doctor begins to formulate a curse to place upon Stacey. A curse of voodoo !.

Concerned for his friends wellbeing Major Lomas warns Mike Stacey of the Simbaza tribes reverence of the mighty lion and of their practices in voodoo. Typically staunch, stiff upper lipped Brit Stacey dismisses such talk as nonsense. Stacey returns home to England to rest and recover from his shoulder wound which has become infected. Upon his return Stacey learns that his wife has moved out of their home, and taken their son with her. Mike Stacey pays a visit to his mother in law to seek his wife and son out, and discovers that they are indeed staying with her. Stacey’s wife has had enough with him disappearing off for long periods on safari’s and big game hunts around the world, leaving her and their son alone.

Stacey starts to experience unease and hallucinations. Visions of Simbaza warriors chasing him, and the audible presence of a lion baying for flesh. With the infection in his wound sapping his strength, and bringing a fever to his brow, Stacey’s wife comes to his aid and calls upon a home visit doctor for assistance. The doctor does all that he can, but becomes perplexed at why the wound fails to heal.
During this time, of Mike Stacey slipping into a state of failing health, back in Africa Stacey’s tracker, who was with him for the killing of the lion, is bound and tortured by the Simbaza tribesman who placed the curse upon the white hunter. The petrified native tracker being used as a living mirror representation of Stacey, for the practices of a human voodoo doll !.

This is a slow building British chiller with a tinge of horror running through its celluloid veins. It’s black and white film stock perfectly weathering the look and feel of the movie into this modern day. It’s tale is a simple one yet harkens back to the earlier still style of a Val Lewton production. Inference is the key to the movies air of unease, rather than cheaply delivered shocks. A low budget rarely shown picture that would have been the perfect second tier movie on a double bill feature.

The film follows Mike Stacey’s decent into ever decreasing poor health, until the point of near death from the mysterious ailment that eats away at his physical being. His wife visits an expert in African beliefs and practices in voodoo, to be informed that the only way for her husband to end the Curse Of The Voodoo is for her husband to kill the Simbaza who has placed the curse upon him.

Summoning up the last remnants of energy within his ailing body Mike Stacey returns to Africa in order to seek out the Simbaza, and one way or another bring an end to the suffering. The movie ends in a dark and violent tone.

View Curse Of The Voodoo Movie

Movie Details IMDB

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Ray Milland Heads Up Horror In ...

The Thing With Two Heads

Blaxploitation meets Grind House in this bizarre ‘B’ movie exploitation flick. Ray Milland stars as Maxwell Kirshner, an eminent surgeon working in the field of body part transplantation. He has found a way to attach a second living head to an ape, whilst the original one still functions, only then to remove that and leave the newly grafted head in its place. Successful in the operation he seeks to do the same with a human subject, that subject being … himself !.

Kirshner has been working flat out on his pioneering transplant technique due to having incurable cancer, and his efforts are self motivated, as he wants to live on with another body harbouring his head. When he divulges to his long time professional colleague, personal physician and friend, that he only has a few weeks to live they have to act immediately to acquire a suitable host.

The theme of the movie is not just one of fantastical science fiction but also that of race, and the colour of a mans skin. Maxwell Kirshner isn’t just a brilliant surgeon, he is also a blatant racist !. When a black doctor, Fred Williams, played by the instantly recognisable Don Marshall (TV’s Land Of The Giants), a welcome regular of popular television shows during the Sixties and Seventies, joins Kirshner’s staff it is made clear that his contract was compiled without the usual cross referencing, and Dr. Williams ‘kind’ is not welcomed !. Dr. Williams properly stands up to Kirshner, holding him to his contract and fulfilling his position in order to further his want to improve himself under such a revered physician in the field of transplantation.

A truly wry quirk of fate plays its hand when Kirshner’s time to undertake the transplantation comes around. With his body giving itself up to the cancer his friend and aid has no alternative but to turn to an inmate on death row. Someone prepared to turn their body over to science in order to avoid the death sentence. That someone is Roosevelt Grier (Rosey Grier aka Jack Moss), a man sentenced to death for murder. A crime that he still pleads he is innocent of, and any further time extension affords his friends and family time to prove his position. The ironic twist is of course that Roosevelt Grier is a black man !.

The reactions of both actors upon the realisation, after the operation, that they have been surgically conjoined at the neck, as a two headed being, is priceless !. Great credit must be given to the creators of Ray Milland’s false head and features as the attention to detail, when not reliant upon the real star in close up shots, is exceptional. It truly is a believable prosthetic and is freakily functional. During the operation, when Milland’s fake head is manoeuvred across to be attached to its sedated host body, seeing the eyes open and move is, for a film at this time, perhaps as audience reactive as that of witnessing the classic scuttling head sequence in John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982).

Two heads are better for fun should have been the slogan blurb for the movie, as splicing Ray Milland’s characters head upon the black neck and shoulders of Rosey Grier’s character Jack Moss works with entertainingly unexpected results. Props to both actors for keeping straight faces and dealing with the obvious cultural clash and race issues from a truly bizarre view point.

Jack Moss manages to overcome the effects of his induced drugged state and escapes from the shackles of Dr. Kirshner’s home medical facility. He goes on the run, taking Dr. Fred Williams as hostage, in order to reunite with his girlfriend and to pursue proving his innocence. A task more difficult than ever when you are sporting an extra head !.

Unbelievably the movie never actually plunges to the depths of complete farce, despite how preposterous the premise, retaining a typically seventies grind house stature that keeps things gritty and salacious in a good way. All three main actors draw the best out of their characters to keep a doubtlessly original audience open mouthed and aghast at what they were witnessing.

One of the stand out moments, of this strictly ‘B’ movie, comes just after the midway point when Moss and Kirshner, along with Dr. Williams, jump aboard an off road motorcycle, to be pursued across the off road mud track by the police in their standard cop cars. This quite long scene delivers car carnage akin to The Blues Brothers (1980), which of course actually came after The Thing With Two Heads. Car upon car crash and smash all over the place, left in the wake of their intended pursuit.

The longer that Dr. Kirshner is attached to Jack Moss the stronger his bond with the body becomes, and as Moss concentrates on eluding recapture and clearing his name, Kirshner focus’s his will upon taking control of the host bodies functionality. A battle to take control plays out, and Dr. Williams has to decide which of the two men his ethical loyalties should side with.

A wild oddity for sure, but one that deals with the issues of bigotry, and science playing God, with a transient proprietary that for its time was as bold as its precociousness. Dealing with issues that are not so far removed from the realms of reality of a spoon fed society today !. Seek it out, but be sure to leave your dismissive mind behind, and engage your thinking head to fully appreciate the underlying cautionary poignancy within the films generic veneer.

The Thing With Two Heads Trailer

Movie Details IMDB

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Femme Fatale Blows A Fuse ...

Eve Of Destruction

When U.S. scientists play God, in creating their own synthetic being in female form, which also just so happens to be a global threat deterrent, all hell lets loose when her circuitry gets frazzled. Modelled upon her creator Dr. Eve Simmons (Renée Soutendijk), this robotic chick is just one automated click away from going nuclear. Once her internal twenty four hour clock kicks in, and when the countdown concludes, anything, and anyone, within a ten to twelve block radius gets obliterated !.

Robotic humanoid Eve VIII is being monitored out on a field test in the real world environment. She is in a bank when a robbery takes place, and the instigators of the act start shooting. Eve is shot and the result triggers a defence mechanism within her that sends her off out into the wide world environment. Her purpose is to act upon memories inherited from her blueprint creator Dr. Eve Simmons. It later transpires that Dr. Simmons experienced a traumatic youth that involved an alcoholic father, one who would beat his wife, and Eve’s mother. Tragedy would also befall as Eve’s mother gets killed in a car collision, brought about by being pushed into the oncoming vehicle in a drunken rage by the husband.

The military call upon their top problem solver Colonel Jim McQuade (Gregory Hines) to reel Eve back in. Brought up to speed with the humanoids capabilities, and week points, by Dr. Simmons, Colonel McQuade is not told the complete picture, and is unaware of Eve’s true purpose of being. When the military receive notification of Eve’s destruction mode becoming live they have to tell McQuade the whole truth, and implore him to render Eve defunct within twenty four hours. The robots area of vulnerability lays in her eye sockets. McQuade must use his precision targeting hand weapon to deploy the bullet direct to the eye of Eve in order to close her down, or her destructive device will explode as per her initiated directive.

A race against time unfolds as Colonel McQuade and the military track the Eve VIII model down. Intermittent action plays out as Eve adapts to her new found surroundings and situations, but another trigger, recessed in her human counterparts shared memory, brings out a violent side in her nature. Whenever anyone calls her a bitch to her face it unleashes her wrath, and this bionic babe is one striking lady you do not want to offend !.

Another very nice quality high definition enhanced showing for the MGM HD Channel. It is good to see that MGM is proudly showing off their back catalogue of movies, be they blockbusters or reasonable enough mid range fare. This film as a whole has a well intentioned made for television movie feel to it. Its identity is somewhat clouded also. There is the evident comparison to The Terminator (1984) and Terminator II (1991) films, but Eve Of Destruction seems to try and avoid sending its humanoid creation directly down the robot out of control route, and rather go for a more creative and emotive one. Ironically it is a more obscure Indonesian film called Lady Terminator (1989), which does not hide its rather obvious intent to ‘borrow’ heavily from The Terminator theme, with a rampaging female robot out of control on the city streets, that gives the rather promiscuous appearance and makeup of Eve VIII her look. Red leather jacket and tight fit, knee length skirt, totting a machine gun, is exactly the image torn from Lady Terminator (1989), made just two years earlier.

Neither main stars help raise proceedings, as Gregory Hines is just not believable in the Schwarzenegger, Willis or similar hard action guy role. The film would have been far better suited to someone like Dolph Lundgren. Renée Soutendijk does not convince either, coming across too cold and unapproachable in her role as Dr. Simmons, which curiously enough still does not greatly bear fruit when aptly applied to her robotic counterpart Eve VIII.

The film elevates itself in the action and excitement department enough to conclude things satisfactorily. Eve VIII clicks into the memory mode of Dr. Simmons as a mother, and in so doing goes in search of her young son. The race to stop her in time comes to New York City, and Colonel McQuade gets his chance to come eye to eye with the object of his pursuit in the New York subway. This is where it definitely turns Terminator, and both Sci-Fi and action fans get a pay off pick me up to end upon.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Patrick Wayne Dukes It Out With ...

The People That Time Forgot

Good old fashioned Saturday morning at the movies action adventure fun. Following on from the earlier made The Land That Time Forgot (1975), Colonel Ben McBride (Patrick Wayne) heads up an expedition in search of his friend Bowen Tyler (Doug McClure), a fellow officer lost at sea in an uncharted area during world war I. Several years have gone by, and the war is at an end, but Tyler’s notes have been retrieved from the ocean, and they tell tale of an incredible lost world. One where caveman fights to survive in a prehistoric land, dominated by dinosaurs !.

Lady Charlotte ‘Charly’ Cunningham (Sarah Douglas), is a newspaper writer and photographer, who joins the exploration, and hopeful rescue party, due to her rich uncle financing the enterprise. Norfolk (Thorley Walters) and Hogan (Shane Rimmer) complete the team as resident scientist, and trusted war comrade. Together they journey as far as they are able by ship to the Antartic, and then fly into the anachronistic region where time has virtually stood still for hundreds of thousands of years.
The small parties first encounter with the creatures that Tyler describes in his retrieved journal is a run in, amongst the clouds, with an attacking Pterodactyl !. The creature does enough damage to force the aircraft down, with a hefty bump. Colonel McBride has no choice but to leave Hogan to make repair to the plane, whilst he, Norfolk and Charly head off into the island in search of Tyler.
It’s not long before the outsiders encounter the humongous prehistoric wildlife, and are beset upon by an indigenous tribe who seek to offer them as sacrifice to one of the carnivorous creatures.They are aided by a friendly native girl named Ajor (Dana Gillespie), a buxom beauty clad in a revealing tan leather, figure hugging costume. She speaks the language of the outsiders, and reveals that she was taught their ways by Tyler !. Ajor informs McBride and the others that she fears Tyler is dead, or still captive of the superior tribe that rule the island. When Tyler helped Ajor and her people to cultivate the land, and learn new skills, this more aggressive tribe destroyed everything that they worked for, and killed most of the people.

The dominant tribe are a hideous race, covering their faces with masks, curiously akin in both their tribal attire and characteristics to a clan of Japanese samurai. Resplendent in battle gear, bearing swords and wielding spears, and riding horses. A curious mix of cultures and time periods, oddly placed in a prehistoric environment !?. Their threat to the island populace, and indeed to McBride and his people, is none the less most evident.

It’s all silly family fun that plays out entertainingly enough right through to the volcanic explosive finale. Doug McClure makes his guest star appearance midway through proceedings as the captive Bowen Tyler, and Patrick Wayne gets to play the hero well enough. Both men were popular matinee fantasy film stars during this period. Patrick Wayne played Sinbad in Sinbad And The Eye Of The Tiger (1977), and also starred in the action fantasy Beyond Atlantis (1973). Doug McClure starred in a whole host of fantasy adventure flicks during the seventies such as, The Land That Time Forgot (1975), At The Earth’s Core (1976) and Warlords Of Atlantis (1978), before moving into more mature variations on the theme with the equally enjoyable likes of, Humanoids From The Deep (1980) and The House Where Evil Dwells (1982).
The People That Time Forgot delivers a reasonably expansive exterior location shoot, and does its best to create the illusion of a prehistoric environment with matte effects and old style hand built monsters. Some of the creatures up close show up their artisan engineered shortcomings, and a couple of digitised scenery effects are woeful, but the miniature work is well realised, and over all it is in keeping with the entertainment value of what is effectively a reasonably budgeted ‘B’ movie. More dinosaurs would have been welcomed, but overall its good old fashioned general audience entertainment value for money.

Yet another cleaned up print of a twenty five plus year old movie, given the high definition treatment, and shown on the MGM HD Channel. Enjoyable hi-jinks monster action fare to colourfully dazzle your HD home cinema system as never before.

The People That Time Forgot Trailer

Movie Details IMDB

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Price, Karloff, Rathbone, Lorre, Embody ...

The Comedy Of Terrors

American International Pictures smartly bring together some of the greatest talent in horror cinema ever, for a comical spin on the genre. Director Jacques Tourneur (Cat People 1942 & Night Of The Demon 1957. But two of his masterworks) gets to forge together the classical talents of Vincent Price, Basil Rathbone, Peter Lorre and Boris Karloff. A positive cornucopia of horror cinemas greats. Bring them together, and invite them to over indulge in their sense of dark humour, and you get the infectious comical horror curio, The Comedy Of Terrors.

Waldo Trumbull (Vincent Price) is the partner in place of a floundering undertakers. He is married to the business owner, and elder statesman’s daughter, Amaryllis (Joyce Jameson). Boris Karloff is Amos Hinchley, the proprietor, a retired old man reliant on the care of his daughter and the business acumen of Waldo Trumbull. Business is far from thriving, however, and in order to generate income Trumbull, and his introverted underling assistant Felix Gillie (Peter Lorre) turn to less than honest means to make money.

The scurrilous undertaker Trumbull constantly recycles his one and only resplendent coffin, turning the bodies of the deceased out into an open grave once those grieving have left the ceremony. Swiftly covering up the body with soil no one is the wiser when they skulk away with the coffin to use again for the next faux service !.

Felix Gillie is kept under Trumbull’s thumb as he is an escaped convict, hiding away under his new identity under the employ of Trumbull. His abilities at breaking and entering locked premises are put to frequent use by the devious undertaker, as another of his irreverent scams is to break into properties and suffocate the elderly and frail in their sleep. The following day he returns to the scene and offers his services to bury the deceased, taken as naturally slipping away in their sleep during the night.

Things become darker and quirkier as Trumbull has to deal with his landlord John F. Black, a terrific turn by Basil Rathbone. Black seeks immediate payment of one years back rent, imposing threat of legal action to turf Trumbull out of the premises. Trumbull has to act quickly and decides to add Black to his list of night time visitations. The evening turns into a farce as the bumbling presence of Gillie alerts Black to the duos intrusion. The outcome, however, ironically delivers the same desired result for the desperate Trumbull, as Black appears to have a heart attack, brought on by the shock appearance of Gillie in his house.

As vibrant in its comic shenanigans as it is in its colourful hues The Comedy Of Terrors is an entertaining testament to the genius’s of the genre. From a time where a low budget still delivered a high quality production, and secured the very best talent to apply their trade in the cause of satisfaction over self gratification.

The final third of the movie is priceless entertainment from its stars. Boris Karloff as the doddery old undertaker, perked up by the elixir of afforded alcohol, is delirious to behold giving a church soliloquy, constantly forgetting the name of the deceased and adlibbing psalms. Basil Rathbone gives a strong performance as a typically pompous aristocrat, duly calling for a pantomime villain like rapport with the audience. Peter Lorre, certainly past his prime performances from earlier in his career, still draws sympathy toward his character as a down beaten underling, stoic in his role and an important and engaging necessity in bringing out the best in those around him. Vincent Price, of course, revels in the lead with a nonchalance that is artful in delivering a likeable villain to put a smile upon viewers faces, aware that he himself behind his on screen countenance is wryly smiling right back.

For Trumball and Gillie to keep Black in a coffin after pronouncement of death is the comical crux of the matter, as this Shakespearian quoting dandy suffers from the rare condition of catalepsy. When all natural signs of life equate to the person being dead, but in fact they are in a deep state of suspended animation. Just goes to show that you can’t keep a good man down, even when he has the obnoxious pomposity of Basil Rathbone’s character.

A fun caper wonderfully played out, and doubtlessly enjoyed by all the participants both in front of and behind the camera. The Comedy Of Terrors will tickle rather than terrorise, but is no less entertaining and once again looks incredible in High Definition, showing on the MGM HD Channel.

The Comedy Of Terrors Trailer

Movie Details IMDB

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Bogart Hits The Horror Spot With ...

The Return Of Dr. X

A murder, mystery thriller in which Humphrey Bogart plays an atypical role as a cold blooded killer brought back from the dead !.

The title of the movie is equal parts misleading, and completely apt.
The Return Of Dr. X has absolutely nothing to do with the 1932 made horror classic Dr. X, starring Lionel Atwill as the titular doctor, but the significance of this movies premise most definitely lies in its titling.

An eminent doctor of haematology, Dr. Francis Flegg, has developed a synthetic blood that can bring back recently inanimate life forms, and his greatest achievement is that of bringing back to life a man !. That man is a brilliant doctor in his own right, Dr. Xavier. The ethical issue at hand is that of Dr. Xavier being released into the custody of Dr. Flegg after his death … at the hands of his executioner, following his sentence to death after committing the murder of a child !.

When a newspaper reporter calls upon a famous actress, to get a coup for his paper, he discovers her dead body in her hotel apartment. Stabbed just beneath her heart, and her body drained of its blood. When reporter Walter ‘Wichita’ Garrett (Wayne Morris) prints his story for the morning press he is soon ridiculed by his colleagues when the actress turns up at the press chiefs office to hit them with a libel action. There is something not quite right about this picture though as the starlets flesh tone is a deathly pale pallor !.

Walter Garrett turns to his friend Dr. Mike Rhodes, who is himself called upon by the police to attend the crime scene of a murder which fits the same pattern that Garrett is describing. The victim is a male, called upon by the hospital as a blood donor, due to his rare type one group. Dr. Rhodes soon learns that the actress too has a type one blood group. When she later turns up dead, again !, for real, suspicions turn to Dr. Rhodes contemporary senior, Dr. Francis Flegg. Greater suspicion falls upon his mysterious assistant Marshall Quesne, another with a deathly pale pallor, not to mention a striking white streak of hair upon his head, and a freakish predilection for stroking bunny rabbits !.

Both Dr. Rhodes and Walter Garrett further investigate matters, and between them uncover a ghastly connection between the executed Dr. Xavier and Marshall Quesne. Humphrey Bogart’s portrayal of a ghoulish genius, caught up in the well intentioned yet flawed scientific machinations of fellow genius Dr. Flegg, is as unrecognisable in its interpretation to any other role he would ever play. A true curio from the annals of cinematic history.

Perhaps Bogart’s better known association with his interpretations of gangsters may be attributable to his characters conclusive stand at the films finale, as he is cornered by the police like a villain on the run with nothing left to do but shoot it out. More poignantly here may be to describe as a bunny rabbit caught in the headlights of an oncoming car !. Whichever way you wish to evaluate this truly is a curious role decision. It is almost as if Bogart’s agent, or even the film studio he was signed to, had an agreement that they were obligated to fulfil. Whatever the reason Bogart himself shows no sign of resentment or awkwardness in his performance, as he hams it up for all its worth.

The Return Of Dr. X Trailer

Movie Details IMDB