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Odd low budget item but better than Boris' Mexican movies
I'm sure there were cheap crime movies made by the dozens in Italy, the only reason this one got dubbed-by an impersonator, is Karloff's role in it. True this is not a horror film though the title is mentioned in the film. The title sequence looks like something from a 1930's B movie serial, though these are the English language titles so can't blame the Italians for that part of it.
Boris appears early on then vanishes for quite a while. It's this non Boris section that makes the least sense as it takes forever for them to actually kidnap the child which is then the focus of the rest of the plot. A good amount of real locations help the film rise above rock bottom production values. The post sound job is really awful with missing sounds and music cutting in and out.
There are a few flashes of style but when Karloff is around it's rather shocking, given the overall poor quality, to see him running around, clubbing a guy in the head, shooting guns and carrying a kid up and down hills, rowing a boat in the open sea, and seemingly quite spry. The impersonator at least tries to sound like Boris which is better than the Italian versions of the otherwise--to say the least--much superior Italian versions of Karloff's Bava-directed films. And unlike several Christopher Lee American dubs of Spanish and Italian and German films where the dubber doesn't sound at all like Lee or ever try to which is totally distracting. So though the dubbing is terrible here at least it sort of sounds like Boris and lets his performance be a little less distracting.
So once the kidnapping plot starts and Boris appears regularly the film gets better and though it doesn't exactly build in excitement it at least ends better than it started. So leaves a better taste in your mouth.
A dog has a significant role which is fun, though odd. Better, or at least professional, post sound work and a more active music score would have helped. Probably the only reason most will see this is for Karloff and though this shows a gutter period before his 1960's work, he's at least got a part to play and a very active role when he's on screen unlike the total rip off scant appearances in those terrible Mexican films.
Reasons to see it? Boris non horror completest and The Dog. The dog's dubbing is the best in the film. Oh, PD version I saw was watchable, not good but OK for what it is. Overall the whole movie and presentation is a few significant--if small-- notches above bottom of the barrel.
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