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A number of swamp land men have died by strangulation and the inhabitants believe that an innocent man they hanged is seeking revenge on all of the male descendants of those responsible for his death. Maria, granddaughter of the guilty ferryman, decides to operate the ferry service. Chris Sanders, a son of one of the men who did the hanging, and Maria fall in love. The "strangler" seizes Chris and Maria offers her life if Chris is spared.Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One of the very, very small number of films produced by PRC that are critically regarded as achieving something approaching B-movie status. Its status was enhanced by it's inclusion in William K. Everson's "Classics of the Horror Film" (1974) in which he praised German director Frank Wisbar's work on the film. See more »
No, it's not PRC's finest hour (and even though it's listed at 59 minutes, I swear it's closer to 50)--that honour has to go to Edgar Ulmer's Detour. Strangler of the Swamp is a neat little cheapie, though, and it's atmosphere is unlike that of any other Hollywood film, with the exception of Night of the Hunter. Perhaps Charles Laughton caught this at the bottom of the bill one night and tucked his memories away for a decade. It certainly strikes me as being more or a fable than a true horror story, and what little I've read of Frank Wisbar's earlier Ferryboat Maria seems to bear out that interpretation. The film is rife with illogic, starting with the idea that a ferry is needed across a swamp that seems to span no more than a few yards. Villagers try to run away in order to escape the curse of the Strangler, and instead of leaving via the ferry they take a donkey cart on a road that otherwise doesn't figure into the story! Leading lady Rosemary La Planche sleepwalks through her role as the granddaughter of the cursed ferryman, and Blake Edwards is reasonably likeable as the heartthrob whose love heals all wounds. All things considered--not least it's brevity and dreamlike atmosphere--Strangler of the Swamp is essential viewing for anyone interested in second features, Poverty Row cinema, or the influence of German filmmakers on American cinema.
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