Steve Morgan kills a man in a holdup and hitches a ride to Los Angeles with Fergie. At a gas station, they pick up two women. Encountering a roadblock, Morgan takes over and persuades the party to spend the night at an unoccupied beach house. The police close in as one by one, the others learn that Morgan is a killer. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Lawrence Tierney singlehandedly lifts this poverty row cheapie from lowbrow crime melodrama anonymity to the upper pantheon of low budget noir exploitation immortality. Bears some resemblance to other low budget limited set piece claustrophobic pics like THE DESPERATE HOURS or PETRIFIED FOREST, but don't dwell on that. There are a lot of strangled laughs given the tense set-up, but don't dwell on that, either. Ignore the implausibilities and wildly uneven acting and revel instead in young Tierney's charismatic menace and casual sadism. He so dominates the proceedings that any analysis of plot points (fairly lacking) or cinematography (surprisingly good) or direction (not so hot) really pales in comparison. One of those rare films that has such bad performances that it is an instant classic yet also featuring such a standout performance from Tierney that it is also an instant classic. Trust me on this one, brother... don't miss this obscure but vital piece of 50s Americrimedramacana. You will be amused and amazed, horrified and entertained, but most of all... you will not soon forget the experience.
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