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

Thursday, March 8, 2018


Barry Sullivan and Martha Hyer
PYRO (aka Feuge aka Pyro ... The Thing Without a Face/1964). Director: Julio Coli.

"I won't rest until you and all of your family are dead ... my breath on your back will be like a cold wind from Hell." -- Vance.

Vance Pierson (Barry Sullivan of Suspense) travels to Spain with his wife, Verna (Sherry Moreland of Fury of the Congo) and their daughter so he can work on a special project with his associate, Julio (Fernando Hilbeck). Unfortunately, Vance meets up with Laura Blanco (Martha Hyer) when he goes to see a house -- resulting in a very strange and awkward sequence -- and the two begin an affair. Vance admits that he'd marry Laura if only he didn't already have a family. Supposedly wracked with guilt -- although with the cool, disaffected Sullivan it's hard to tell -- Vance breaks off the affair, but Laura is not the type to take no for an answer, leading to more than one tragedy ... Pyro is misnamed, because while there are fires and arxonists aplenty in the movie, there are no genuine pyromaniacs. Pyro has an interesting plot so it holds the attention, but it's not that well-produced or directed, sometimes has the appearance of a travelogue, has a too-weird musical score, and never becomes the fascinating nail-biter it might have been with a master director at the helm and a much better script. As well, certain aspects of the story line defy credibility. Sullivan and Hyer are both competent -- Sullivan is at times better than that -- but Hyer lacks the real acting chops to make her portrayal anything more than another vicious kitten as she was in Picture Mommy Dead. A Spanish film, this was picked up for US release by American International, but it was not a success.

Verdict: This had real possibilities ... **1/2.


angelman66 said...

Will definitely check this one out, though...

William said...

Throw a log in the fireplace and enjoy!