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

Thursday, March 11, 2010

THE THING THAT COULDN'T DIE


THE THING THAT COULDN'T DIE (1958). Director: Will Cowan.

Jessica (Carolyn Kearney) is a young lady who can divine things. When her power discovers that there's something buried beneath the ground on her Aunt Flavia's (Peggy Converse) ranch, she warns everyone that it's evil -- but her aunt is hoping for buried treasure and ignores her. Well, they find a chest all right, but what's inside is hardly the treasure Flavia was hoping for. Soon the hands and guests at the ranch find themselves at the mercy of a force that dates back to the days of Sir Francis Drake. This is an entertaining and fast-paced horror flick that doesn't take itself too seriously but never descends into outright camp, either. There are amusing moments, and the actors are all credible. David Duncan's script provides characters who have some dimension to them as well. The score is an effective mish mash of other scores from a host of Universal's horror and sci fi films. William Reynolds is probably the best-known cast member, and we've also got the durable Thomas Browne Henry [Earth vs. the Flying Saucers; Blood of Dracula] in a small role. Villain Robin Hughes had a great many credits. David Duncan also wrote The Leech Woman, The Time Machine and Monster on the Campus. Not to be confused with The Brain That Wouldn't Die. This was the last of 119 movies directed by Will Cowan [who also produced this and about 140 other films]; he lived for another 36 years.

Verdict: You can't keep a good head down. ***.

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