MOST DANGEROUS MAN ALIVE - Louis Forbes - "The Steel Monster" (1961)
Well, here we are winding down this 2012 Halloween Countdown, and for this Wednesday night's weirdness, I've got a little known jewel for you from 1961 called "Most Dangerous Man Alive!" I like this film a lot, it's simple, gritty, and effective!
As the film gets rolling, Ron Randell as Eddie Candell has just managed to escape on his way to the big house! Aussie born Ron was in a string of "B' movies, played the Police Lieutenant in "The She Creature" and was Henderson James in the "Outer Limits" episode titled "The Duplicate Man!"
Ron's character in this film, Eddie Candell, was at the top of his hoodlum game, when he got framed by his associates for a murder he didn't commit!
Even the darling Debra Paget as Linda Marlow turned against him, committed perjury, and testified in court that Eddie was the one who did the dirty deed! Debra was also in "From Earth To The Moon," "The Haunted Palace," and the upcoming "Tales Of Terror!"
After escaping, Eddie is wandering around aimlessly when he blindly stumbles onto a nuclear test site, and is exposed to a bunch of radiation! These two shots are as seen through the bunker window!
"Most Dangerous Man Alive" is chock full of talent, like this pairing of Morris Ankrum, and Tudor Owen as the cop and the doctor scientist! With some 265 titles to his credit, Dungeon Hall of Famer Morris Ankrum just might hold the record for being in the most actual classic Sci-Fi and "Monster" movies, I'm talking titles like "Rocketship X-M," "Flight To Mars," "Red Planet Mars," "Invaders From Mars," "Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers," "Kronos," "Beginning Of The End," "The Giant Claw," "Half Human," "Giant From The Unknown," and "How To Make A Monster!" No slacker himself, Tudor Owen was in "Jack The Giant Killer," (musical version coming up next month) and in the "Twilight Zone" episode called "No Time Like The Past," he played the Captain of "Lusitania!"
Since Eddie's been out of the picture, Anthony Caruso as Andy Damon has taken over the gang and is the guy calling all the shots! He's also sleeping with Linda Marlow! Out of his 248 credits, Tony Caruso didn't have a lot of horror in his portfolio, but if the studios need somebody that looked Italian, Latino, Native American, Arab, or some other darker ethnic persuasion, his was the number they would call!
Now that Eddie has escaped, Linda just knows he's going to come and kill her, but Damon won't let her run away, so she tries drowning her sorrows in alcohol!
Eddie finally shows up, and the guys pump about 10 or 12 slugs into him, and since the gang doesn't know what happened to him, they don't understand why bullets won't phase him, they just know they don't like it!
Eddie turns to ex-girlfriend Elaine Stewart as Carla Angelo for some truth and understanding, and a place to hide out!
It's pretty easy to see why Eddie was so taken with Carla, in the October 1959 issue of Playboy, Elaine Stewart had a pictorial spread that included racy photos like this!
Meanwhile, the gang is hanging out, playing cards, and playing the piano, and the girls are dancing to keep busy! The cool piano music in "Most Dangerous Man Alive" was written by five time Oscar nominated composer Louis Forbes! Louis was the music director for "Gone With The Wind" and was the composer of the soundtracks for "The Bat," and "From Earth To The Moon!"
Since they can't shoot him, Damon gets the bright idea to slip a rope around Eddie's neck when he shows up, and push him out an upper story window!
But being a man of steel, it is no problem for Eddie to turn the tables, and push these two cheap thugs out the window instead, where they plummet to their death!!
My favorite part of the whole movie is that despite everything, including having his shirt ripped to shreds by that explosion, Eddie never takes off his tie! Never, not once!!! It just proves what a dapper character he is, I guess, but I think it's hilarious!!
Still fearing for her life, Linda Marlow makes one last desperate attempt at calming Eddie down!!
And Damon and the gang try one last frantic attempt to eliminate Eddie by shocking him with 10,000 watts of electricity, but of course that is unsuccessful too! It just pisses him off more!!
Finally, the authorities figure out that the only way they can eliminate Eddie is to break out the freakin' flamethrowers!!!! One last interesting note, one of the writer's of the original story called "The Steel Monster" was the original vampire cowboy actor, Michael (Curse Of The Undead) Pate!
The flamethrowers work for some reason, I guess because they needed to end the movie!
Great little film, catch it if you ever get half a chance!!!