Don Gallico is a master at designing magical illusions which are sold by his employer, Mr. Ormond, to famous magicians such as Rinaldi. He is also a master of disguise and realistic mask ...
See full summary »
Three horror stories based on the writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne. In the first story titled "Dr. Heidegger's Experiment", Heidegger attempts to restore the youth of himself, his fiancee ... See full summary »
Don Gallico is a master at designing magical illusions which are sold by his employer, Mr. Ormond, to famous magicians such as Rinaldi. He is also a master of disguise and realistic mask design. When Don embarks upon his own career as Gallico the Great, showcasing his own masterful illusions, his dreams are shattered by Ormond and he turns to murder to vent his frustrations.Written by
Jeff Hole <email@example.com>
The music playing in the restaurant when Gallico catches up with Karen attempting to get his carrying bag she accidentally picked up is a string version of the classic song Santa Lucia, probably made most popular by a recording by legendary tenor Enrico Caruso. See more »
The magic tricks on the shelf, in the studio, change in different shots. See more »
What was in that bag, Don?
Do you really want to know, Karen? It was a head. A human head.
Oh, you're just making fun of me.
Not at all. It was your head, Karen. The dummy head I made for the buzzsaw trick. Do you remember how its eyes rolled and the mouth opened in a scream when the teeth of the saw ripped into its flesh? That was the most lifelike thing I ever made. Do you think I'm going to let Rinaldi take that away from me too? Oh no, my dear. They'll never find that lovely head of yours.
See more »
Vincent Price's follow-up to HOUSE OF WAX (1953), the film which cemented his reputation as a horror icon, similarly revolves around a bitter – albeit resourceful – showman. Though a remake, the former (shot in Technicolor) remains the superior effort; that said, apart from some resistible comic relief, the obligatory resort to cheap gimmickry (it was another 3-D showcase) and occasional narrative shortcomings (whatever happened to the missing bag which supposedly turned up at some police station containing a severed head?), this offers more than enough Grand Guignol-type thrills and overall camp value (Price hamming it up in a variety of disguises as an inventor of illusions impersonating 'missing' star conjurers who had taken advantage of his genius) to stand on its own two feet. Incidentally, director Brahm's involvement here proves no mere coincidence – since the narrative incorporates elements from two horror titles (both starring Laird Cregar) he had previously helmed i.e. THE LODGER (1944) and HANGOVER SQUARE (1945). The young leads are played by Mary Murphy (as Price's ingénue assistant) and Patrick O'Neal (as her police detective boyfriend – curiously enough, he would himself take the lead in a similar piece, CHAMBER OF HORRORS , which I have acquired just in time to serve as an encore to this one). An interesting sideline here is the latter's adoption of a novel detection technique, fingerprinting, which is crucial in bringing about Price's downfall (in a predictable but rather awkward fiery climax) though the persistent snooping of his amateur crime novelist landlady has at least as much to do with it in the long run! Watching the star in a made-to-measure role, the film emerges a good deal of fun – particularly at a compact 73 minutes.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this