Review: The Killer is Loose

tumblr_nm2k2asKuz1tgm8l7o10_1280

The Killer is Loose is a short but sweet film noir from 1956.  It doesn’t look to be viewed as much as other films with this amount of star power.  This stars noir legend Joseph Cotten and femme fatale great Rhonda Fleming.

the-killertn

This is a tension filled hour and 15 minute movie, with a simple plot that raises the bar with the great performances.

Our story starts with a very smart bank robbery, to smart.  The police force discovers clues showing it is an inside job.  This narrows down the suspect list to one Foggy Poole.  Soon a raid on Poole’s apartment is organized and Poole is not going down without a fight.  When the police break the door down and with the lights off our hero, Detective Sam Wagner played by Cotton jumps in and sees movement, he fires…and kills Poole’s wife by mistake.  Poole goes to trial and is found guilty for the bank job.  He vows revenge on Wagner by promising to taking the life of his wife, Lila, played by Fleming.  A few years go by and Poole escapes prison.  This is where the story takes off, everybody knows Poole will be coming for our hero and his wife, but will he succeed?  What will he do to get revenge on his wife’s killer?

Foggy Poole is a very creepy psychopath played amazingly by Wendell Corey.  Foggy is a killing machine with above average intelligence.  Are we seeing the roots of future serial killers like Hannibal Lecter and Norman Bates?

KIL3

Michael Pate and Alan Hale Jr.(The Skipper from Gilligan’s Island) both play smaller parts as police officers but still stand out.  This film is directed by Budd Boetticher who is more known for his western films, but did very well in this dark crime film.

I really liked this film!  The ending was a little abrupt, and some of the characters make some decisions that don’t exactly make sense.  The story is simple but the tension builds all the way to the end.  Recommended for any Cotton and Fleming fans and if you like Wendell Corey you will love this film.

Review: Inferno

Inferno is a 3D film-noir!??!  This movie is filmed in 3D, a very popular thing in the early 50’s and 20th Century Fox was a little late to the game.  This was their first film in 3D and didn’t come out until 1953.

This has film noir great Robert Ryan playing a millionaire that is abandon in the desert and left for dead.  He has a broken leg and has to survive on his own with very little water and food.

We also have frequent femme fatale Rhonda Fleming as the wife that leaves her rich husband in the desert to die.  Her motivation for doing so, is falling in love with the desert guide 3 days before, played by William Lundigan, and a circumstance where her husband falls from his horse and breaks his leg.

This is written by Francis M. Cockrell who wrote a lot of crime and thriller stories for the big and small screen.  Inferno is directed by Roy Ward Baker who directed many crime and horror projects for movies and television.

Our hero’s thirst for survival is based on his need for revenge on his wife.  We almost have 2 films here, the survival story of our hero and out femme fatale covering up the murder she thinks she’s committed.  Both come back together for a final conclusion in the end.

This is not a traditional film-noir, being filmed in color and 3-D, with stereo sound to boot.  The effect is well done, with the beauty of the desert setting and Fleming’s red hair and blue eyes popping in vivid Technicolor.  I watched this on television so I didn’t get to watch this in 3-D.  There was a few of these 3-D noir films made in the 1950’s, it would be cool to see these released on 3-D Blu-Ray.

This is not a widely viewed film with under 600 viewer ratings on IMDb.  I actually think this would be enjoyed by a wider audience then just crime and noir fans.  I think the outdoors enthusiast as well as western fans may enjoy this as well.