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A Face in the Fog

USA 1936
produced by
Sam Katzman for Victory
directed by Robert F. Hill
starring June Collyer, Lloyd Hughes, Lawrence Gray, Jack Mulhall, Al St. John, John Cowell, John Elliott, Sam Flint, Forrest Taylor, George Ball and the George Ball Trio, Ramsdall Dancers, Donna Lee Trio, Fred Parker, Eddie Dunn
screenplay by Al Martin, based on the novel The Great Mono Miracle by Peter B.Kyne

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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A mysterious killer called the Fiend who (for no reason at all) kills with frozen poison bullets - which if anything shrouds his method of murder in mystery - is after reporter Jean Monroe (June Collyer), basically because she claims he has seen his face, falsely claims so as it later turns out. She has made the claim only to lure the Fiend out into the open, but then she is called away to do an interview at a theatre, and the Fiend strikes again - only he hits Jean's interviewee (George Ball) instead of her. Incidently, the theatre the Fiend has struck is the one where all the former murders have happened, and while its impresario Reardon (Jack Mulhall) is driven to desparation because of them, its resident playwright and amateur detective Peter Fortune (Lawrence Gray) offers to help the police with their investigations. Furthermore he claims he knows a man, Sanchez, who can lead them right to the murderer ...

With the murderer after her and knowing where she lives, Jean doesn't want to sleep in her apartment this night, so she moves into (of all places) the same hotel the theatre people are staying at along with her boyfriend, investigative reporter Frank Gordon (Lloyd Hughes). At the hotel, Reardon soon starts to act mighty suspicious, and ultimately Fortune comes up with evidence that he is the killer - but he denies everything, claims he was set up by someone else ... but during a reenactment of the last murder, he is shot dead like all the others - which at least clears him of being the murderer. At the scene of the crime, Frank finds a cigarette case he thinks belongs to Fortune. Now that doesn't prove anything, since Fortune spends most of his time at the theatre and might have lost it months ago, but Frank keeps it, is sure it's vital evidence.

Franks photographer sidekick Elmer (Al St.John) follows Fortune to what seems to be Sanchez's hideout, and he sees Fortune dispose of a gun.

Fortune drops by Frank's place and asks him whether he has seen his cigarette case, and when Frank denies it, he tells him he is going to see Sanchez now, but claims he has to see him alone - knowing that a reporter like Frank can't help it but follow him. Frank promptly walks into the trap of course, finds out that there was never a Sanchez in the first place, and that the cigarette case Fortune was so anxious to get his hands on contains the frozen bullets he used to kill all those people. Fortune prepares to shoot him, but Elmer has since returned to the place with the police in tow, and the cops kill Fortune.

But why did Fortune do it?

Many years ago, his brother worked at a theatre owned by the men who own the theatre Fortune is working at now. He died in a fire when the theatre burned down, and the owners were accused of arson but released ... and so, Fortune wanted to have revenge by first making their theatre big thanks to his plays, then destroying them completely by his killing spree.

 

Poverty row crime thriller that never fully comes into its own: Bascially, there are some gaping plotholes while the method of murder so much emphasis is put upon is completely irrelevant for the plot, and the whole thing is mighty far-fetched. All that is not helped by a stagey directorial effort and the fact that the entire cast never manages to escape mediocricy. And former Keystone Cop and Fatty Arbuckle associate and later Fuzzy Al St.John is left with way too flat a role to turn it into anything funny.

 

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
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