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William A. Wellman
Douglas Fairbanks Jr.,
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Based on the "I Love a Mystery" radio program (where most of the stories were told in serial fashion over several episodes): Searching through the wreckage of a crashed airline, the police find five shrunken human heads, and one of them is a white man with red hair. The head belonged to an explorer, deemed lost on an expedition to South America, and is tagged as a victim of jungle savagery. His daughter thinks otherwise, and suspects foul-play outside the jungle. She hires a team of private detectives to investigate, and points them in the direction of her stepmother and a colleague of her father, who appears to be more than a colleague of the stepmother. The detective, however, also looks in another direction and vocation for the killer.Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Good combination of horror and noir. Now if I could just figure out whose head belongs on which body, I might be able to figure out the plot. But, no matter since the film is carried by some great noirish atmosphere. The gloom hangs heavy over everyone, so you just know anything might happen. The movie's adapted from a radio stage play and it shows in the stretched out storyline that sometimes appears to ramble. Still, brighter bulbs than mine may be able to follow out the mystery part. Anyhow, I really like the obscure Michael Duane as the ambivalent Rex Kennedy; he brings unexpected depth to the part. The cast is basically an ensemble of no-names, who, nevertheless do well enough in their roles. No, the movie never rises above programmer status, but does show how imaginative these bottom-of-the-bill B- movies could be.
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