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

Thursday, July 30, 2009

TERROR IS A MAN


TERROR IS A MAN (1959). Director: Gerry De Leon.

In what is essentially an uncredited version of H. G. Wells The Island of Dr. Moreau, William Fitzgerald (Richard Derr) survives a shipwreck and winds up on an isolated island where Dr. Girard (Francis Lederer) and his wife Frances (Greta Thyssen) are experimenting on animals. They have created a panther-man (an effective Flory Carlos) who breaks loose periodically and causes death and havoc. Meanwhile William and Frances find themselves drawn to one another. Filmed in the Philippines, this is actually a fairly decent horror flick with not-bad performances, and a brooding atmosphere, although perhaps not enough is made of the terrible presence in their midst. Competently scored and directed as well. Danish Greta Thyssen had very few credits. Richard Derr had a much longer list of credits, including playing The Shadow in The Invisible Avenger and starring in the Broadway musical Plain and Fancy [about the Amish] with Barbara Cook. Peyton Keesee is charming as the little native boy, Tiago, and Oscar Keesee (presumably a relative) is vivid as the leering Walter, who also has a lech for Frances.

Verdict: Holds the attention. ***.

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