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

Thursday, November 7, 2013


THE BRUTE MAN (1946). Director: Jean Yarbrough.

In this unofficial sequel to House of Horrors, the Creeper (Rondo Hatton) is back creeping about and periodically snapping people's spines. This time the character is given a name, Hal Moffet, and back story. Moffet was a cocky college football hero whose face was disfigured in a chemistry explosion [Hatton's disfigurement was due to acromegaly due to exposure to poison gas during WW1]. Unlike House of Horrors, which has a few interesting characters and flavorful performances, The Brute Man is comparatively dull and slow-paced. Aside from Hatton, who is fine if limited in the role of the Creeper [Fred Coby actually plays Moffet as a college student], the main character is Jane (Helen Paige), a blind piano teacher who hides Moffet and is befriended by him in turn. Tom Neal is one of Hal's old classmates, and Jan Wiley [Secret Agent X-9], in an especially weak performance, plays Neal's wife. Donald MacBride is the police inspector on the case. Hatton's Creeper character, or at least a variation thereof, also appeared in the modern-day Sherlock Holmes film The Pearl of Death.

Verdict: Not the best of the Creeper. **.

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