Low-budget gem...a surprise...
R. Gawlitta | Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA | 07/29/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This film really isn't so bad if you consider a few things. An encouraged guy named Jack Pollexfen (not unlike Ed Wood) had an idea (not unlike Ed Wood) and cast a great actor from the past (not unlike Ed Wood). The difference is that this is a take on "noir", though without the finesse of those earlier films (sorta like Ed Wood). Production values, as in any independent film with a somewhat believable plot, are low. ("Blair Witch Project", though innovative, was not much different). My idea is not to criticize it for its tackiness, but for its idea. The acting isn't that bad. Marian Carr is actually quite effective as the only female lead. Casey Adams was good as he could be; made a big mark on TV in "Green Acres"; it's almost a take on "Dragnet", the hit TV series at the time (though Adams has more life than Jack Webb ever did...). Then there's Lon Chaney, Jr., relegated to idiotic roles because Hollywood never knew what to do with him; with the studio collapse of the early 50's, no one remembered his touching performance as "The Wolf Man" (1941) or his most remarkable performance (as Lenny) in "Of Mice and Men" (1939, directed by Lewis Milestone). Whaddya do with a guy like this? Perhaps he knew that he was "hard to cast", but I beg anyone to say that his heart wasn't in it. Today's wave of independent film is suddenly recognized as a force to be reckoned with; budgets as they are, I think some of the "lousy" films of the 50's tried to do the same thing. They didn't have Miramax to back them...NO ONE, for that matter. Still, I was a part of the Drive-In crowd back then, and I still appreciate this kind of film fare. Even bad independent film should be respected, to a point. The really trashy films will be just that; small moments of ingenuity should be respected. I have the VHS version, and now the DVD. Both are of low quality, but I find both equally entertaining. This film has been written off as junk by the studios who've produced it. Despite the bad VHS/DVD transfers, the film held my interest. Decide for yourself. ADD'L COMMENT: I just got the DVD of the "Inner Sanctum" series, all starring Lon Chaney, Jr. They're 6 short B-movies from the mid-40's, and fun. Excellent picture transfer."
Silent, But Deadly..
Bindy Sue FrÝnkŁnschtein | under the rubble | 07/22/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Lon Chaney jr. is great as Charles "Butcher" Benton, in this enjoyable shlock-fest. Sitting on death row, he swears revenge against his former partners in crime, including his sleazoid lawyer who got him put away in the first place. Benton is executed the next day. His body is sold to a scientist who inadvertently brings him back to life during an experiment. Not only that, but Benton is now an indestructible maniac, impervious to bullets! Benton is also unable to speak, as his vocal cords have been destroyed by the 300,000 volts of electricity used on him. He kills the scientist and his assistant (played by the ever goofy Joe Flynn), then shambles forth to continue his rampage. This is a pretty good revenge flick. Both cops and innocent bystanders are wiped out for getting in his way! Benton stalks and eventually catches up with his ex-cronies, dispatching them in quick fashion. I was surprised at the body-count, seeing as this did come out in 1956. If you like murder, mayhem and back-from-the-grave horror, this is a must! ..."
Updating The Frankenstein Myth
Bart | Montpellier, France | 11/07/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"More than 150 years ago Mary Shelly sat down with a group of authors on a chilly winter night and came up with the Frankenstein Story.
Who could have guessed that new versions and evolutions of the story would continue to this day. The Indestructible Man came almost exactly 100 years after the first tellin of the tale and gives a good glimpse as to how the narrative can evolve with the times.
Frankenstein has always been about man's fear of technolgy and his desire to play god. Therefore filmakers play god with their stories while bringing each generations new technology to the task.
What I liked about this version was the casting choice. Lon Cheny Jr was almost always cast as one or another variation of The Wolf Man. Therefore to see him play Frankenstien is amazing.
You get to see what he would have done with the role if it had not gone to Boris Carloff 20 years before and he does a great job with it.
The movie is a little bit on the short side - comming in at 70 minutes, but that's really all you need to tell this story.
We know the monster will go bad and that he must be destroyed, so there is no point in dragging out the issue. Being a mid 1950s movie the monster is a symbol for the growing american ease with nuclear power and energy and this is worked into the story fairly well.
The film is also well preserved and one of the last chances to see Cheny while he was still in his prime."
Lon Cheny Jr. Zombie Film
Arthur | America | 05/22/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As everyone knows Lon Cheny Jr was The Wolfman and afterwards he went on to do a whole bunch of B Horror movies - this one being a very good example. This time around he doesn't howl at the moon, intead he's an undead criminal zombie brought back to life by a mad scientist. Some people love this type of film and some people don't. I love classic Holywood horrow, so I was way into it."