- SKU: 5862453
- Release Date: 07/23/2003
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- Digitally mastered
- Interactive menus
- Scene index
Lt. Dick Chasen (Casey Adams) narrates the strange story of Charles "Butcher" Benton (Lon Chaney, Jr.), a condemned man who came back for revenge. In prison, Butcher refuses to reveal to his crooked lawyer Lowe (Ross Elliott) where he hid $600,000 from a bank robbery. Even though he's due to be executed, Butcher vows revenge on Lowe and his partners, Squeamy (Marvin Ellis) and Joe (Ken Terrell). Lowe visits stripper Eva (Marion Carr), to whom Butcher has sent a map of the spot in the Los Angeles sewer system where he hid the loot, but Lowe opens the letter first, and secretly takes the map. After the execution, Butcher's body is taken to San Francisco scientist Prof. Bradshaw (Robert Shayne) who's trying for a cure for cancer, but instead his experiments bring Butcher back to life. His cellular structure has been increased to the point where he's nearly indestructible, and he is incredibly strong. He kills the scientist and his assistant, and heads for Los Angeles. When stripper Eva turns out to be very different from the person he was expecting, Dick becomes attracted to her. Butcher, who can no longer speak, arrives and learns she doesn't have the map. Aware of Butcher's vow, he tries to inform Squeamy, but Butcher kills both Squeamy and Joe. The panic-stricken Lowe punches a cop and gets tossed in jail as a way of hiding from Butcher; when the cops threaten to release him, he talks and reveals the map. Butcher overhears Dick and the others planning to take care of him with flamethrowers, but just as he finds the loot, he's hit with a bazooka and blasted with the flamethrowers. Hideously burned, he leaves the sewers and climbs to the top of a big crane, which runs into high tension wires, and Butcher is disintegrated. And in the end, Dick and Eva get together. ~ Bill Warren, Rovi
This painfully-bad Monogram feature wastes the talents of two of horrordom's finest -- star Boris Karloff and co-writer Curt Siodmak (who would write the horror classic The Wolf Man for Universal the same year). The goofy plot involves the efforts of one Dr. Adrian (Karloff) to procure human spinal fluid for his polio-vaccine research by donning the pelt of a slain circus ape and slaughtering innocent people. The fact that he's snapping spines in the interest of medicine doesn't really help to clear the moral waters (he never does find a cure, anyway). Filmed during a particularly grueling year for Karloff, this marks the end of his lengthy stir with Monogram (after a tedious string of Mr. Wong potboilers). Without Karloff to kick around, the studio concentrated their humiliating efforts on Bela Lugosi, who appeared in a virtual remake, The Ape Man, three years later. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi
The Wasp Woman
This goofy but entertaining horror cheapie from producer-director Roger Corman and company involves the efforts of a questionable scientist working for cosmetics magnate Susan Cabot, who is developing a new rejuvenating beauty cream derived from an enzyme secreted by wasps, intended to make women look eternally youthful. A vain woman obsessed with restoring her lost beauty, Cabot insists on being the first test subject. The solution proves remarkably effective at first, transforming her into a sultry raven-haired vixen...until she begins to take on the predatory traits of a giant female wasp, setting out on a nocturnal killing spree. Originally double-billed with The Beast from Haunted Cave, this cheesy monster mash inspired the less-amusing Leech Woman and was later remade for 1980s audiences (i.e., with a higher sex-and-gore quotient) as Evil Spawn. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi
A young Francis Coppola was given the job of directing this moody low-budget chiller after begging producer Roger Corman for the opportunity to reuse the sets for another film which Corman was shooting in Ireland. The story centers on the dysfunctional Haloran family, who live in a state of perpetual sorrow in a spooky Irish castle. Still mourning the death of her young daughter Kathleen -- who drowned in the lake seven years ago -- Lady Haloran (Ethne Dunn) tortures herself regularly by visiting the girl's grave (when she's not shrieking and collapsing in anguish every five minutes). When daughter-in-law Louise Haloran (Luana Anders) loses her husband to a heart attack, she manages to conceal the body for fear of being cut out of Lady Haloran's will. To further complicate matters, a mysterious interloper begins prowling the grounds with an axe to grind... a very big axe. This enjoyable, quirky psycho-thriller is enlivened by Coppola's inventive camera setups, atmospheric locations and Patrick Magee's over-the-top performance as the leering family doctor. Despite some ragged editing (probably not Coppola's doing), this has relatively high production values for a spare-change Corman project. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi
Cast & Crew
- Marian Carr - Eva Martin
- Lon Chaney, Jr. - The Butcher
- Ross Elliott - Paul Lowe
- Marvin Ellis - Squeamy Ellis
- Joe Flynn