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
In the opening scene, Peter Vollmer is hit with a tomato or
other vegetable in the face which splatters along the left side of his head, hair, neck and left shoulder part of his shirt. He has no residue at all on any of those areas after he briefly fights with the heckler immediately after getting hit by the vegetable. Shortly later, when he returns home after the brief fight, the opposite side of his shirt (the right side which did not get splattered) has several spots evenly spread over that side...more spots than he could have gotten by falling in the street during his brief fight. See more »
Where will he go next? This phantom from another time, this resurrected ghost of a previous nightmare. Chicago? Los Angeles? Miami, Florida? Vincennes, Indiana? Syracuse, New York? Anyplace, everyplace, where there's hate, where there's prejudice, where there's bigotry. He's alive. He's alive so long as these evils exist. Remember that when he comes to your town. Remember it when you hear his voice speaking out through others. Remember it when you hear a name called, 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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