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Fred F. Sears
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Several years earlier gangster Frank Buchanan was deported to his native Italy through the efforts of law enforcement authorities and rival gangsters who inform on him. While in Europe he meets scientist Wilhelm Steigg, who has perfected a method of reanimating dead people and controlling their behavior with oral commands. Buchanan underwrites Steigg's experiments and uses his technology to wreak revenge on his enemies. Unfortunately radioactive poisoning is a by-product of the process, and authorities use radiation detecting devices like Geiger counters to pinpoint the source of the sinister plot. Written by
Gabe Taverney (firstname.lastname@example.org)
To keep the budget low, like many directors of the period, Edward L. Cahn chose to shoot the film with in as few breaks and edits as feasible, so that the characters are constantly standing, sitting, and pacing to avoid the tedium of talking-head shots. Even when characters move from room to room, there are very few cuts. The effect is both impressive and amusing, once the viewer becomes aware of it, and could inspire a Drinking Game based on spotting the edits! See more »
During the 8mm film showing the behavior of the dog, the animal is obviously blinking its eyes after it has supposedly obediently received a command to sleep. See more »
A mafia boss returns illegally from Europe with his mad scientist friend -- to get revenge on those who betrayed him by using an army of reanimated corpses he guides by remote control. Only the police scientist (Denning) suspects the truth, but he easily convinces the army to help hunt down the villains.
Not much going on here (but it might amuse those who have never seen a lot of B films), with standard Columbia production values (looks like an episode of "Beverly Hillbillies", in other words) and merely adequate direction by pro Cahn -- the real value of this kind of B-movie has to come from the script, and in this case it's fairly standard, although there is some fun dialogue. Writer Siodmak specialized in "living brain" stories after the success of his superior "Donovan's Brain." ----------------------
additional note, 10/07
I just rewatched it in the theater again and the entire theater was convulsed in laughter at this movie. Even more amazing, most of the jokes were obviously intentional. Denning's character is just absolutely brilliantly written, BIG kudos to Siodmak here. I don't know how I missed it on my first viewing (in the same theater). I love his attitude towards his wife... well not that I love it but it's hilarious. "My wife only talks when I'm ready for bed." WOW! The audience was laughing so hard you couldn't understand half of the lines of dialog. And the best shot was courtesy of Cahn -- Denning comes home and his wife is bent completely over the doorstep, just an absolutely perfect apple shaped backside. The camera ogles that view for about 5 seconds and then cuts immediately to Denning with a HUGE smile on his face! Hilarious! Absolutely a gem that I would recommend to people in the Halloween season if they want some laughs, and it's actually a pretty disturbing movie on some levels as well.
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