Icy ammo puts 'em "on ice"
Annie Van Auken | Planet Earth | 12/20/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"ALPHA VIDEO's A FACE IN THE FOG is typical of the fast-moving 1930s murder mystery programmers that were churned out by Poverty Row studios on a bi-monthly basis.
Here, a somewhat deformed murderer named "The Fiend" uses his trademark frozen bullets to "knock off" two cast members of a stageshow. A lady reporter named Jean, her colleague Frank and goofy press fotog Elmer cover the story for their newspaper. After the show's star is murdered however, the play's author demands to be allowed to solve the case unassisted. Subsequent to a scuffle over some telephone trickery between Frank and an actor named Reardon, the Fiend makes an attempt on Jean's life, but his shot misses its mark. Reardon is arrested as the suspected killer, and then HE gets "iced," too!
Comic relief Al St. John (Elmer) first worked at Mack Sennett's legendary KEYSTONE studios, in 1912. He later made slapstick shorts with his uncle, Fatty Arbuckle and Buster Keaton. Several of their classic silent comedies may be found on the marvelous DVD set, THE BEST ARBUCKLE/KEATON COLLECTION.
And if you're interested in another obscure mystery film, check out THE LADY CONFESSES (1945), also from ALPHA VIDEO.
ALPHA VIDEO is a provider of vintage movies, serials and TV programs, many of which aren't available elsewhere. Their prices are fair, but so is transfer quality of some of their offerings. None have undergone restoration, yet the market scarcity of their material and an honest price make these DVDs a worthwhile purchase.
Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 viewer poll rating found at a film resource website.
(5.1) A Face in the Fog (1936) - June Collyer/Lloyd Hughes/Lawrence Gray/Jack Mulhall/Al St. John/Jack Cowell/George Ball"