Two Assets Anyway -- Mari Blanchard and Karl Struss
Photographer Karl Struss first worked on a movie with director Kurt Neumann back in 1939. The film? Island of Lost Men. It wasn't until 1946 that he teamed up with Neumann again on Tarzan and the Leopard Woman. Further Neumann-Struss collaborations were The Dude Goes West, Bad Boy, Rocket Ship X-M, Tarzan and the She-Devil, Mohawk, She-Devil, The Deerslayer, Kronos, The Fly, Machete, and Counterplot. When Kurt Neumann died, Struss turned to photographing television commercials, and worked exclusively in this field until his retirement in 1970, after a 51-year career in cinematography. Struss himself passed from this life at the age of 95 on 16 December 1981.
When director Kurt Neumann died on 21 August 1958, The Fly, his most popular movie was just about to go into general release, and he still had three films on the shelf: this one, shot back-to-back with Counterplot (held back from release until October 1959) in Puerto Rico, and Watusi (released August 1959). Unfortunately, the script of Machete is remarkably silly, even though it does offer Miss Blanchard the chance to play the femme fatale so enthusiastically. Alas, the rest of the players, particularly Juano Hernandez, are wasted; and a number of gratuitous musical numbers do little to enliven audience interest. On the other hand, the location photography by Karl Struss is aways a definite asset.
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