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When a dangerous killer escapes from the local gaol, police suspect he
may come after the DA as retribution for his incarceration. Assigned to
protect the DA (Lucas), bull-nose detective (O'Brien) settles in for a
long night that ends up turning into a fracas when "The Phantom" enters
the house via a secret labyrinth of ducts and concealed passages,
threatening the DA's daughter (Ray) before disappearing into the night.
Fortunately, novice reporter (Williams) has a hunch "The Phantom" might
be heading for a local mental sanitarium leading to a terrifying
encounter with the residents of the local loony-bin.
There's some mild chuckles and feint thrills in his uneven
comedy-thriller, but the acting seems quite stilted at times and the
tension seems to be constantly nobbled by ill-timed humour. Williams is
the strongest performer as the young, assertive reporter keen to solve
the mystery to earn a pay increase that will fund his ensuing
matrimonials with the DA's daughter.
I found the jittery housekeeper (Knights) a tad over-bearing, her
incessant shrills and dramatics becoming old very quickly, while
combined with her vertically challenged boyfriend, the Chauffeur Shorty
(Dunn) the pair added a touch of farce to the proceedings that I felt
were unnecessary diversions (perhaps padding). Nevertheless, it's
coherent and at barely one hour in duration, nothing if not efficient.
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