Horrors of Malformed Men

April 30, 2017 at 10:13 pm (9 Heads) (, , , , , )

Horrors of Malformed Men – 1969 – Japan

An amnesiac surgeon named Hirosuke is locked in a Tokyo insane asylum. After killing another inmate (a deranged monk) in self-defense, he escapes. Outside, Hirosuke encounters a circus magician with a mysterious connection to his forgotten past, but the magician gets murdered and Hirosuke is framed for it. Fleeing Tokyo, he reaches a seaside town where a wealthy local businessman named Genzaburo has just died. Hirosuke discovers that he is the dead man’s doppelganger, even down to the swastika scar on the bottom of his foot. Hirosuke impersonates Genzaburo, surprising everyone with his sudden resurrection. As he grows ensnared in Genzaburo’s life, he discovers that he is actually Genzaburo’s lost brother. He also learns of a mysterious island where his father lives in isolation. Hirosuke is forbidden by his family to go there, but goes anyway.

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Detour

July 29, 2015 at 1:10 am (10 Heads, Detour) (, , , , , , , )

Detour – 1945 – United States

A piano player named Al hitchhikes from New York to L.A. to visit his girlfriend in Hollywood. He catches a ride with a loud-mouthed pill-popping bookie, who keels over dead suddenly and mysteriously. Suffering from a paranoid delusion, Al convinces himself that he will be accused of the crime. In a panic, he takes the bookie’s car, money, and identity and flees to L.A.

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Fingerprints Don’t Lie

July 29, 2015 at 12:34 am (5 Heads, Fingerprints Don't Lie) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Fingerprints Don’t Lie – 1951 – United States

A crooked ex-police commissioner beats the mayor (of an indeterminate city) to death with a telephone. A hapless artist is framed for the crime, so the artist’s wife teams up with a forensic investigator to crack the case. The always irritating Sid Melton plays a girl crazy photographer who does not know how to use a camera.

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The Large Rope

August 24, 2014 at 10:07 pm (5 Heads, Large Rope) (, , )

The Large Rope – 1953 – England

A man is falsely accused of assaulting a woman and sent to jail. Following his sentence, he returns to his village where his friends, his family, and the townies ostracize him. The same day, the woman he supposedly assaulted is strangled and he is accused again. To clear his name and solve the murder, the man dredges up the circumstances of his first false arrest.

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The October Man

July 13, 2014 at 11:13 pm (5 Heads, October Man) (, , )

The October Man – 1947 – England

Jim Ackland is hospitalized after a catastrophic bus accident. Survivor’s guilt and a skull fracture have made him suicidal. After an extended hospital stay, he moves into a shabby hotel, takes a new job, and gets a girlfriend. When one of the other hotel boarders is murdered, Jim is implicated due to happenstance and his mental illness. Eventually Jim discovers he was framed by the real killer and must escape the police while clearing his name.

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Fear in the Night

July 15, 2013 at 12:12 am (5 Heads, Fear in the Night) (, , , , , )

Fear in the Night – 1947 – United States

A banker has a nightmare about murdering a stranger. Upon waking, he finds speckles of blood on his body and is convinced the dream was real. His detective brother-in-law is skeptical, until the banker (by happenstance) locates the house where the murder occurred. Questioning the local police, the banker and the detective discover that two people were recently killed within. Through a poorly-detailed series of deductions, the detective determines that the culprit is a hypnotist who mind-controlled the banker to commit the crime. In the climax, the banker is hypnotized again, resulting in a shootout and a chase before the hypnotist’s car plunges off a cliff.

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The Man from Cairo

January 8, 2012 at 3:37 am (6 Heads, Man from Cairo) (, , , , , )

The Man from Cairo – 1953 – England

The Man from Cairo is British noir starring George Raft whose tough sneering image competed with Humphrey Bogart’s. Raft is an intriguing fellow. Rumors claim he was illiterate and a former mobster. After his retirement, he was sentenced for tax evasion but avoided imprisonment by weeping pleas. Anecdotes aside, Raft’s influence on Hollywood’s gangster archetype is incalculable.

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