Saturday, March 21, 2020
The Indestructible Man (1956)
Convicted murderer Butcher Benton is on death row, and his sketchy lawyer has tried one last time to find out where his criminal associate hid $600,000 dollars. He's unsuccessful, and Benton swears to get his revenge on the lawyer, and the two other crooks who turned against him. Meanwhile, Policeman Lt. Dick Chasen is on the hunt for the money, desperately following any clues he can. He strikes up a friendship with a burlesque dancing girl and former friend of the Butcher's. Unbeknownst to anyone however, two scientists have absconded with the deceased killer's body, for an experiment to bring the dead back to life...
The Indestructible Man is a pretty standard 1950s b-movie, but one that does everything so well that it sets out too. It may not be an artistic masterpiece, but it's definitely a good time!
I was disappointed at first that the titular villain was just a normal looking dude who just happened to be invincible, but to the film's credit it never made it out to be anything else. It is called The Indestructible Man, after all, not Monster. He does receive some neat scarring in the climax though
Dick is a likeable enough lead. Dogged and goodhearted, he's the kind of cop you wanna follow in such a film. Eva is sweet too. She's a bit of a stereotypical love interest I guess, but =, always felt like she had a place in the story, especially with her connection with the Butcher (who she didn't know was a killer, for those wondering why the love interest was palling around with someone named The Butcher). What I find interesting is how the movie isn't really judgemental of Eva for having such a job as a burlesque dancer!
Then there's the narration. Surprisingly it's not bad! Dick's a good narrator, and his voiceovers never feel out of place, and he rarely speaks over other characters. He also never tells us the obvious either, or ruminates endlessly on poetic fluff, like other b-movie narrators have the tendency of doing. He also doesn't feel like he's copying Dragnet either, even though that was probably the intention behind this.
Where The Indestructible Man is at its most jawdropping is at the ending!
The acting is all fine. Lon Chaney Jr. makes for a good villain here. He's = when he talks, although that only lasts a short time. He's great when silent, but I do wish he'd had the chance to stay a little more vocal. Casey Adams is a decent lead and narrator. He has his moments where he almost reaches smarminess, but I think those are played for laughs, and he's perfectly nice for the rest of the movie. I quite liked Marion Carr's performance. The fact that she plays her role like a good girl despite her somewhat adult job sells her character, of someone who may not keep the job forever, but isn't terribly uncomfortable with it, or made a bad person as a result. Everyone else does well, though Robert Shayne and Joe Flynn's turns as mad scientists are sadly short lived.
The Indestructible Man isn't an effects heavy film, but when it =, it really works. The scars the Butcher receives are convincing enough, and the way he gets them almost make you feel a little bad for the guy! The crowning moment of the film though is its climax! It's spectacularly done, which really surprised me! I was expecting a pretty cheap defeat of the monster, for a pretty low-budgeted movie, but the way it's crafted and shot is really something for this kinda movie!
Overall, this is a good film. Not perfect, and could've used a little more oomph in a few places, but it's not a bad time. Some moments will leave you =, some will have you rolling on the floor in stitches, and it's always good seeing Lon Chaney Jr...