Saturday, December 8, 2012

FUEGO - José Solá - "The Phantom Of The Ferris Wheel" (1964)

Writer and Producer Sidney Pink was the man responsible for the 60's classics "The Angry Red Planet," "Reptilicus," and "Journey To the Seventh Planet," but Sid claimed that "Pyro...The Thing Without A Face" was the favourite movie that he made, even though he really preferred the title "The Phantom of The Ferris Wheel!"

Life is  like a Ferris Wheel, it goes round and round but everybody has to get off at some point! The first Ferris Wheel was designed by George W. Ferris for the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago! Since that time it has become a staple at amusement parks and carnivals around the world!

A man with very little horror in his credit list except for this film, and "Planet Of The Vampires," the very talented Barry Sullivan is Vance Pierson, a Ferris Wheel admiring engineer assigned a new job that requires him to relocate to Spain where this film was made!

Just to prove it's Spain, we are immediately treated to some of the local colour!

From the looks of the grill design, Vance is given a 1961 Plymouth Valiant to cruise around in! The one I used to own was a blue '59! When I sold it, I told the guy to fix the brakes before driving it too far, but instead he gave the keys to his girlfriend who drove it to San Francisco and immediately wrecked it!!

Vance goes out looking for a house for him and his wife and daughter to live in and stumbles upon the gorgeous Martha Hyer as Laura Blanco getting ready to torch her house for some insurance money! Their relationship is immediately tumultuous and they end up in the sack together in no time at all! Except for "Sweet Martha Lorraine," I think Martha is just about the least sexiest name for a hot blonde I can think of, but Martha Hyer proves me wrong! Martha was in some great movies like "Abbott And Costello Go to Mars," "Riders To The Stars," and "House Of 1000 Dolls" before she retired in 1973!

Vance's wife is played by Sherry (Rocketship X-M, Mesa Of Lost Women) Moreland, and his relationship with her, and his home life goes completely to Hell as quick as you can say Jack Robinson........

.........while his affair with Laura just keeps getting hotter and hotter!!!!

Then, in a club on New Year's Eve, to the swinging sounds of José Solá,
Vance decides to call it all off!!!! Amazing, there just happens to be a Ferris Wheel centerpiece on their table! How ironic!

To say that Laura doesn't take it very well, would be a massive understatement as she torches the Pierson home with Vance's wife and daughter inside! Vance was leaving to go somewhere, but had a bad feeling, and turned around, but was too late to save his family from cremation!!

Vance ends up like a burnt piece of meat from head to toe, and when Laura comes to visit him, even though he can barely move or talk, he vows vengeance on her and her whole family!

Now it gets a little vague right about here, but somehow, by some miracle, Vance manages to escape from the hospital and end up looking like a normal person again! After some time passes, and Laura's Mother gets burned up at home, the authorities start looking for Vance, even though they have no idea where he is or what he looks like, or how he could even be remotely responsible!

Vance now has a completely different look, and works as the guy who runs the Ferris Wheel at a traveling carnival show! His assistant is a very young Soledad Miranda as Liz Frade, the daughter of the owner of the show!

Soledad Miranda has never looked cuter or more innocent on celluloid, but then this is a few years before hooking up with Jesus Franco, and making films like "Vampyros Lesbos," "She Killed In Ecstasy," and "Eugenie Sex Happening!"

One day Liz catches a glimpse of one of Vance's burnt and deformed hands, and he has to think fast to try and explain it to her, and cover his ass with some kind of cock and bull story about having a prosthetic hand!

Who could possibly look cuter than Soledad Miranda in a rain slicker?? The answer is: Nobody!!

Meanwhile, Laura has been hiding out on an island with her pyromaniac daughter who was a gift from her own Father!! The daughter sneaks away one day to the mainland where the carnival has set up, and gives away Mom's hiding place to the kind and benevolent Vance!

Vance makes it on over to the island in the dead of night, and has quite the surprise for ex-lover Laura when he pulls off his rubber mask and reveals his true burnt, scarred, and still alive self!!

Just like riding a Ferris Wheel, "Pyro" starts at the end, and ends where it started! Everybody has to pay to get on, and like I said, everybody has to eventually get off too!!

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