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Jail Bait
The Hidden Face

USA 1954
produced by
Ed Wood for Howco
directed by Ed Wood
starring Lyle Talbot, Dolores Fuller, Steve Reeves, Timothy Farrell, Herbert Rawlinson, Theodora Thurman, Clancy Malone (= Scott McCloud), John Robert Martin, Bud Osborne, Mona McKinnon, La Vada Simmons, Regina Claire, John Avery, Conrad Brooks
written by Ed Wood, Alex Gordon, music by Hoyt Curtin

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Even though his father Boris (Herbert Rawlinson) is a rich & noted plastic surgeon, Don Gregor (Clancy Malone) is just a no-good little crook who loves to carry a gun (jailbait, as his sister Marilyn [Dolores Fuller] tends to call it - hence the title), even though he is repeatedly arrested by the cops for carrying a firearm, & inspector Johns (Lyle Talbot) & detective Lawrence (Steve Reeves - yup, Mr Universe 1950 & later Hercules-actor in his first film role) keep an eye on him.

However, Don is involved with gangster Vic Brady (Timothy Farrell), & soon the two of them rob a theater, but something goes wrong & Don shoots a watchman (Bud Osborne) while Vic wounds a theatre employee (Mona McKinnon) ... & that woman soon identifies both of them by their photos.

Soon they are wanted all over, especially Don, who since shooting the watchman is branded a copkiller, & he goes to his father for help, who has him promise to give himself up ... but before he can do so, he meets Vic again, & Vic shoots him in cold blood ... & Vic also makes up an ingenious plan of how to escape poice investigations for good ... he pretends to hold Don hostage & thus forces his father to give him a new face ... & father plays along & prepares an operation - with a gun of Vic's girlfriend Loretta (Theodora Thurman) poitned at him at all times. But then he stumbles over the corpse of his son in the kitchen - when he's out of Loretta's sight for a minute - & quickly makes up a plan to have his revenge on Vic ...

Vic's operation goes fine, & when he visits doctor Gregor after two weeks n bandages to hve his face unveiled, he is so self-ssured he doesn't even care inspector Johns & detective Lawrence sitting in on the unveiling ... until he has to realize he now has not his face but the face of Don Gregor - the copkiler ...

 

Very cheaply made crime drama with a rather pedestrian script, that seems to be a bit too straightforward - in fact not at all unlike the then popular strairght-forward, no-nonsense crime-series Dragnet - for Ed Wood to apply much of a personal (off-beat) touch. Only the original surprise ending - with some of the typical Woodian dialogue - shows a bit of the director's typical handwriting.

The film shares music with Mesa of Lost Women, another great Howco-cheapo of its time.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD