A savings-and-loan bank is robbed; later, a police wiretap identifies teller Leon Poole as inside man. In capturing him, detective Sam Wagner accidentally kills Poole's young wife, and at his trial Poole swears vengeance against Wagner. About three years later, Poole (until then a model prisoner) abruptly takes his chance to kill a guard and escape. It's clear during the ensuing manhunt that Poole is obsessed in pursuit of a single end; but not quite the end everyone supposes. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Poole pulls the stolen Ford truck into the farmer's yard, crew members and lights are clearly visible reflected in the side of the truck. As he moves away from the truck, the cameraman is seen moving along with him. See more »
Decent crime picture with a great performance from Wendell Corey
"The Killer Is Loose" is one of those films that survives on one performance. As the psychotic criminal, Wendell Corey offers the best characterization of his entire career. Hes horrifying and relentless yet pathetic. Its one of the screen's great madman portrayals and its a shame its stuck in a typical detective thriller. If there had been more focus on Corey's character instead of the dull leads, "The Killer Is Loose" could've been a masterpiece, as good as any other serial killer film. In its current form, its an entertaining b-picture but nothing more.
Maybe I'm being a little too tough on this. Its a nicely gritty and quickly-paced thriller, almost a film-noir at times (theres a bit too much light and focus on heroes for it to be an actual noir in my mind). Its directed with skill (if in a strictly workmanlike fashion) by Budd Boetticher. Joseph Cotten and Rhonda Fleming do what they can with such bland protagonists, but both are completely overshadowed by Corey. Hes terrific, much better than the film itself. "The Killer Is Loose" is worth watching just for his compelling portrayal. (6/10)
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