EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|INDESTRUCTIBLE MAN (director: Jack Pollexfen; screenwriters: Sue Bradford/Vy Russell; cinematographer: John Russell; editor: Fred Feitshan Jr.; music: Albert Glasser; cast: Lon Chaney Jr. (Charles "The Butcher" Benton ), Casey Adams (Lt. Dick Chasen), Marian Carr (Eva Martin ), Ross Elliott (Paul Lowe), Stuart Randall (Capt. J. L. Lauder), Robert Shayne (Prof. Bradshaw), Joe Flynn (Bradshaw's Assistant), Kenneth Terrell (Joe Marcellia), Marvin Ellis (Squeamy Ellis), Roy Engel (Sergeant), Eddie Marr (Carny) Reita Green (Carny's assistant); Runtime: 70; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Jack Pollexfen; Allied Artists; 1956)|
entertaining work of trash."
by Dennis Schwartz
entertaining work of trash, that's hokey, poorly
written, stiffly acted and presented in a lumbering
manner. The low-budget, far-fetched, mad
scientist/sci-fi/crime drama/horror B-film, features a
sickly looking Lon Chaney Jr., whose career is
on a downturn, desperately taking parts in cheap films
after being a long-time star for Universal in top
films. It's directed by Jack Pollexfen ("Dragon's
Gold") and written by Sue Bradford and Vy
Russell. The public domain pic became a drive-in
favorite and was often shown on public TV.
killer and armored car robber Butcher Benson (Lon
Chaney Jr.) is executed at San Quentin, just
after he tells his last visitor, the shady lawyer Paul
Lowe (Ross Elliott), the boss of the
armored car robbery, he intends to kill him for not
trying hard enough to get him off the death penalty
and fellow robbers Joe Marcellia (Kenneth Terrell) and Squeamy Ellis (Marvin Ellis) for escaping prison by
being witnesses for the state against him at his
trial. During the visit Lowe fails to get the doomed
man to reveal where he stashed the $600,000 stolen
loot, and scoffs at his seemingly empty threats.
Before buried, a crooked
morgue worker sells the Butcher's corpse to Prof. Bradshaw (Robert
Shayne), a rogue
San Francisco experimental biochemist, who hopes to
use the corpse to experiment for a cancer cure.
Instead the powerful jolts from the electric shocks
bring the corpse back to life, frying his vocal chords
but leaving him super-strong and able to stop bullets
from penetrating. The Butcher quickly dispatches of
Bradshaw and his assistant and steals the car of a
stranded motorist and also murders the carny owner
motorist, as he goes to LA to visit his stripper
girlfriend Eva Martin (Marian
Carr). The Butcher sent her a map, to be opened after
his death, where he hid the stolen loot in the LA
sewers. When the Butcher arrives in LA, after running
through road-blocks and killing a number of cops, he
visits Eva's dressing room and discovers Lowe has
stolen the map.
straight-arrow Lt. Dick Chasen (Casey Adams), the lead investigator
for the armored robbery, a case that's closed with the
Butcher's execution by his boss Capt. J. L. Lauder, has romantically befriended
Eva while working the case on his own time and she
calls to tell him that as strange as it may seem, the
Butcher has returned from the dead and is after his
three former cohorts.
The pic lacks imagination,
and its conclusion is unconvincingly pat. Nevertheless
it has something about it that is indestructible and
should be pleasing enough for both fans of Chaney and
of the genre.
REVIEWED ON 5/12/2013 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ