Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

THE HAUNTED STRANGLER


THE HAUNTED STRANGLER (1958). Director: Robert Day.

James Rankin (Boris Karloff), a writer, is fascinated by the case of the presumably long-dead Haymarket strangler. Rankin is convinced that the wrong man was hung for the crimes, and that the real killer disappeared after his surrogate's death. Rankin eventually becomes possessed by the spirit of the true killer and begins a murder spree of his own -- but there's a clever final twist on top of that. The great Karloff is at the top of his form in this very entertaining and well-made horror-mystery, which is completely absorbing and has many effective sequences. Anthony Dawson is Superintendent Burke and Tim Turner is Rankin's handsome young assistant; Elizabeth Allan and Diane Aubrey are the women in Rankin's life.

Verdict: Highly watchable chiller with an exemplary Karloff. ***.

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