Thursday, November 7, 2013
THE BRUTE MAN
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. **.