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

Friday, May 30, 2008

INDESTRUCTIBLE MAN


INDESTRUCTIBLE MAN (1956). Director: Jack Pollexfen.

Charles "Butcher" Benton (Lon Chaney Jr.) isn't having a very good day. Arrested for a payroll robbery and murder, his two partners in the crime roll over on him and his own lawyer is the mastermind of the plot. However, things look up after he's executed, when his body is delivered to a scientist, Professor Bradshaw (Robert Shayne), who is trying to find a cure for cancer. For some reason Bradshaw treats Benton's corpse to an electrical process that inadvertently brings the dead man back to life -- mute. With super-strength and invulnerability to bullets and what-not, Benton proceeds to go after the ones who done him wrong. Max Showalter is the detective on the case, and Ross Elliott is the Lawyer, Paul Lowe. Ken Terrell, who played butler Jess in Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, is one of Benton's victims. The cast is professional enough, and Chaney -- although he only speaks in the opening sequence -- gives one of his better, more intense performances. Marian Carr is very appealing as the dancer, Eva Martin, who once befriended Benton; she was also in Kiss Me Deadly. Marjorie Stapp makes an impression as a woman whose boyfriend is murdered by Benton right in front of her. (She was also in The Monster that Challeneged the World -- as was Showalter -- Daughter of Dr. Jekyll, and other genre films.) Joe Flynn of McHale's Navy has a small role as Shayne's assistant. Elliott was a busy actor of the period and appeared in The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms. Albert Glasser's dramatic score is a definite asset to the picture. The narration is unnecessary but there is a good use of locations. Exciting climax in the sewers.

Verdict: Entertaining, taut little thriller. ***.

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