The City of Chicago is gripped by an Axe Murderer. The streets are empty at night as there has been six murders and six people have been caught, but they are lunatics. Only one person has ... See full summary »
The City of Chicago is gripped by an Axe Murderer. The streets are empty at night as there has been six murders and six people have been caught, but they are lunatics. Only one person has lived to tell about it and that was Edwina, who is as dumb as a brick. If it were not for Oliver, she would be number seven. When there is a second attempt on Edwina, Oliver figures that the crimes are not random and that someone is hypnotizing these people to do his bidding, but the police and Edwina are skeptical. Written by
Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Lew Ayres changed his military status from "conscientious-objector" to "non-combatant" in April 1942 causing great consternation at M-G-M, which already reshot the "Dr Kildare" film he had just completed, removing him from the cast completely. By the time this film was released, the furor had died down and it opened without incident. In fact, one reviewer noted the business was brisk, possibly because of Ayres' honesty and courage in jeapardizing his movie career for the sake of his principles. See more »
For years this film used turn up often on television, but always at around three in the morning on "The Late Late Show." I only saw it for the first time recently on video. To my surprise, this film was an enjoyable light comedy thriller. Lew Ayres is delightful as the actor who teams up with show girl Day to solve a series of axe murders. The scene where Ayres feigns insanity to get into the files at a mental hospital is price-less. Basil Rathbone is in top form as the shady doctor who orchestrates the murders. Its odd that this film being an MGM production with a good cast is almost never mentioned in books on horror films, while minor poverty row horrors from the same period have had gallons of ink written about them.
The film did end with a few loose ends. Why does Rathbone choose an axe as the weapon for his subjects to kill his victims? Also, it is never made clear as to how he is able to control his subjects. Does he use hypnosis? Telepathy?
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