Saturday, March 24, 2012

Out In The Low-End Be-Bop 1950s Crime Noir Night- “The Killer That Stalked New York”- A Review

Click on the headline to link to a Wikipedia for the low-rent crime noir, The Killer Who Stalked New York.

DVD Review

The Killer Who Stalked New York, starring Evelyn Keynes, Charles Korvin, Columbia Pictures, 1950

I want my money back. And I want it now. Sure I know that this film had to have been the crumb-bum first feature, the B-film, on a Saturday afternoon double-feature but I still want my money back or at least the dough I spent on popcorn. I have reviewed many crime noir/film noir efforts in this space over the last couple of years but this one under review, The Killer Who Stalked New York, really hits the bottom. Poor acting overall, poor dialogue, poor plot line and, well, just poor. The only socially redeeming feature about this one is the black and white cinematography but that is hardly enough to float this one.

So what has my dander up? Well, for starters, just look at the movie title. Wouldn’t it make you think that some serious desperado was on the loose, some one of a half dozen 1950s bad guys who the likes of Robert Mitchum or Humphrey Bogart would have to set straight (or maybe somebody else has to straighten out). No the killer here is none other than a small pox epidemic, or threatened one anyway. Ya, I thought that would get your attention. There is a crime here but just a garden variety “hot jewels” scheme that would be a yawner on most days. But see one Sheila Bennet (played by Evelyn Keynes) is not only acting as a “mule” for some New York City low-life, her two-timing husband (played by Charles Korvin), but has contacted small pox down in pre-revolution Cuba. And it goes downhill from there

Naturally Sheila as a carrier is going to infect everybody that she comes in close contact with and so this one turns from a nickel and dime low-rent crime flick to a national (or at least big city) emergency thing with everybody getting vaccinated while the medical and police authorities are frantically hunting her down. But here is the coup de grace Sheila has been two-timed by her two-timing husband by her ever-loving younger sister so to add “spice” to this one and to drag it out for more than its five minutes of real energy she is the woman scorned who seeks “justice” by hunting down her hide-and-seek getaway husband (and thereby potentially spreading her disease all over the Big Apple). Hey, let’s call this a medical noir. And you can see now, see as clear as day, why I want my money back. At least my popcorn money and not in 1950 coin either.

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