I rather like this film. Sure, it's cheesy and made "on the cheap", but it does have an engaging storyline and some fairly good performances to it's credit.
Essentially, it's a gangster movie (with a hipster-like dialog just for fun).
The best performance awards go to Robert Blair and Francine York. Both should have gone on to long careers, but didn't, for some reason.
Blair was so good at playing "bad" that....spoilers ahead.....I was disappointed when he turned out to be the good guy. With his looks and sex appeal, it was hard to imagine that Hazel held a torch for her aging, out of shape husband. Once Bill turned into Tom he was less appealing or interesting, but he certainly made me believe he was "bad" in the first half of the movie.
York gave a fine performance as the pretty young female caught in the web of deceit her husband and the others had devised. Through it all, she remains the one you're pulling for.
This film was the debut of Ray Dennis Steckler and he played his part well. I loved his final scene.......spoilers ahead....as he lay dying he laughed with smug satisfaction right before cringing and dying. Classic! His was not a big part, but he showed signs of a real talent what few times he was on the screen.
All the actors were at least good in their roles and the movie kept my attention, despite some silly scenes.....
For instance, Hazel is tortured with no less than a lizard! Really! Now, had it been a Gila monster, I might have believed that she would be scared, but a common lizard? No, she was a native of the desert, and she would have most likely laughed or wanted to hold it than feel fear. King should have threatened to carve up her pretty face with a knife. That I would have certainly believed.
The film leaves one fact open to speculation. It might have seemed a glaring hole, but instead gives the film a uniqueness.....spoiler ahead...who killed Hazel's husband? Me, I would have liked to find out that it was Tom/Bill, who was now totally smitten with Hazel, and wanted the husband out of the way....the "bad" guy who turns out to be "good", but has become "bad" after all due to lust for the leading lady. Hehe. Either way, we never know the truth.
Don't expect the film to be anything more than it is, and you'll probably enjoy it.
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