Thursday, 12 June 2014

JUNE 12, 2014

A FACE IN THE FOG (1936) Directed by Robert F. Hill. **

It is hard to believe that this film was made as late as 1936, it seems to belong to a period five or six years earlier when these borderline horror mystery films were churned out by Hollywood's poverty row production companies. Even allowing for the fact that the print viewed was pretty dire it is obvious that the technical aspects of this film were very poor indeed and far beneath the average quality of most films made the same year. The plot is the standard mad killer on the loose who is here called "The Fiend" but you might just as well substitute "The Bat", "The Cat" or "The Octopus". The Fiend himself is a suitably grotesque creation, a black clad, crippled hunchback who evoked for me Vincent Price's similarly attired killer in HOUSE OF WAX. The killer's identity will come as no surprise to anybody with half a brain cell. Al St.John (one of only two cast names I was familiar with) was incredibly irritating as compulsory  comedy relief. I've seen worse and this at least has some nice location footage and some nice old cars. Also viewed was MURDER AT  MIDNIGHT (1931) Directed by Frank Strayer * which is about as bad as this mystery genre gets.

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