Kindly soup kitchen operator and professor of criminology Bela Lugosi uses his soup kitchen as a front for a criminal gang who commit a series of daring robberies and murders. When things ... See full summary »
A honeymooning couple stay at a hotel in New Mexico. It all seems normal until an ambulance pulls up and takes the husband away. The wife, with the help of a truck driver, finds the awful secret to the hotel and the ambulance service.
Thanks to Mill Creek Entertainment, this rare Karloff appearance remains a mystery no longer. Admittedly, the English dubbing varies from atrocious to only slightly less than passable, but it is probably no worse than the Italian version, and at least a commendable effort is made to try to imitate Karloff's distinctive voice. Not very successfully, it's true, but at least the dubbers took a tilt at it.
However, what will disappoint fans the most is that, despite the title, this is a not a horror film at all. It's what I call a Clayton's horror film. Clayton's is a non-alcoholic beverage that was extensively promoted a few years back as "the drink you have when you're not a having a drink!" Thus a Clayton's horror film is the horror film you have when you're not having a horror film, because this one is actually a "who is the mystery leader of a vicious gang of smugglers?"
Aside from Karloff (whose role is not all that extensive, despite his early entrance, although he does do a fair bit of running about), the only players that impel much interest are avuncular Giuseppe Chinnici as the helpful marshal and the exotic Franca Marzi as the singer you have when you're not having a singer (maybe she sings in the Italian version, but in this one she doesn't warble so much as a note). Miss Marzi is a rare commodity in movieland, an actress who's not afraid of continuously styling her hair in an unbecoming fashion or being constantly photographed from most unflattering angles.
Although he started back in 1943, director/writer Montero didn't really hit his stride until the 1960s when he made a series of reach-me-down, semi-documentaries on sexy themes. Interestingly, the best scenes in this effort are those on the marshal's ship where the camera is cleverly placed to three-dimensionalize the action (and Maestro Innocenzi adds to the allure of sun, sea and sky with his rousing title theme).
All told, passable entertainment, provided you're not expecting too much and are prepared to make generous allowances.
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