Around 1960, a tiny neo-Nazi organization struggles pathetically to succeed in a big city. A mysterious figure begins to ruthlessly guide a young, insecure U.S. Nazi leader, and the group begins to draw more attention.
Peter Vollmer is the leader of a small neo-Nazi movement in a large American city. He's having trouble getting his message across and seems to alienate people every time he opens his mouth. After a particularly bad rally, he hears a voice and sees a man standing in the shadows. He begins to advise Peter on what to say and how he can structure his message to make it more appealing to his particular audience. Peter has success but his mentor begins pushing him to extremes. There is a limit however and there is a voice of reason in the mob that seemed so willing to follow him. Written by
Portrait of a bush-league fuehrer named Peter Vollmer, a sparse little man who feeds off his self-delusions and finds himself perpetually hungry for want of greatness in his diet. And like some goose-stepping predecessors, he searches for something to explain his hunger, and to rationalize why a world passes him by without saluting. The something he looks for and finds is in a sewer. In his own twisted and distorted lexicon, he calls it faith, strength, truth. But in just a ...
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He's Alive has several merits ,although the 'mystery' figure in the shadow makes for something like the worst and most tasteless edition of 'What's My Line' ever. Dennis Hopper is believable as the volatile, misguided young man looking to an easy and despicable way to escape his own feelings of insignificance. Nowadays he would probably be trolling on the internet or hosting some horrible radio phone-in, but back then he had to rant his fascism on the streets.
Serling covers different ground here in an hour to that touched on in 'Death's Head Revisited'. Tactics and the rhetoric of fascism are coached by the 'mystery' nut-job. The unhappy childhood and a ruthless streak fuel the ambition of Vollmer (Hopper). There's enough narrative and infinitely enough substance for me to recommend this one.
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