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

Thursday, January 12, 2012


TERRIFIED (1963). Director: Lew Landers.

In a small town someone in a suit and tie [a well-dressed psychopath, apparently] and black mask is creeping around killing and stalking people. Ken (Rod Lauren), who has fear issues due to his childhood, suspects that the man in the mask might be a crazy guy named Joey (Robert Towers), who conveniently just escaped his confinement. Ken's friend, the waitress Marge (Tracy Olsen), and her boss, talk -- and talk -- about Ken, Joey, the masked man, and other matters. There's a climax between Ken and the suit and tie guy in a ghost town not too far from the restaurant, and ultimately in the nearby graveyard. The movie doesn't help itself by throwing characters at us and keeping us in the dark about them, their inter-relationships, and what's going on for way too long. By the time the movie gets started, it's almost over. Veteran director Lew Landers was at the helm, but very few directors could do much with this script and a very tiny budget. Lauren made more of an impression the following year in Black Zoo. Years later he was involved in a real-life murder mystery when authorities claimed he hired someone to slaughter his wife; he evaded a trial but eventually took his own life.

Verdict: Even if you think you like old slasher movies .. *1/2.

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