Tuesday, November 20, 2007
The Indestructible Man
Posted by JPX
Charles “The Butcher” Benton is on death row and his time is dwindling faster than the sand in the hourglass at a Boggle match. The Butcher, a violent gangster, is angry with a lot of people including his shady lawyer and his crooked partners who turned State’s Evidence against him. Only The Butcher knows the whereabouts of $600,000 they stole from an armor car heist and although he is about to be executed, he ain’t talking. In fact, while meeting with his lawyer for the last time he vows revenge on them all.
The Butcher is placed in the gas chamber and, well gassed. He dies still looking pissed. That’s how I’d go out if I were being executed; I’d look at everyone in the room with murderous rage. Either that or I’d cry like a schoolgirl. The Butcher’s body is never laid to rest because the local gravedigger instead sells Butcher’s corpse to Professor Bradshaw and his research assistant who need a fresh body to conduct their cancer research (makes no sense to me either). After The Butcher’s body is subjected to 287,000 volts of electricity, The Butcher wakes up, still pissed, and begins his kill-spree. Oh yeah, and he’s indestructible, which we learn when a syringe breaks on his skin. Later we see bullets bounce off him. Although his brain wasn’t scrambled, the jolt of electricity destroyed The Butcher’s vocal chords so he is only able to grunt for the rest of the film.
Chaney looks like a mess and according to some essays on this film he was apparently in the throws of alcoholism. It has been suggested that the decision to fry The Butcher’s vocal chords was made because Chaney kept forgetting his lines. The film itself is a hodgepodge of b-movie horror standards including clichéd gangsters, a cop that keeps investigating even though he’s no longer “officially” on the case, a mad scientist with an array of crazy equipment, and Lon Chaney himself, a great b-movie actor who has seen better days. A highlight, as JSP noted in his excellent review, is the frequent close-ups of Chaney’s “angry” eyes. Regardless of how generic The Indestructible Man is (see Man-Made Monster for a better version of this film, also starring Chaney) I still enjoyed this sloppy little movie. Chaney stumbles around like Frankenstein’s monster, swatting all who get in his way.
at 4:30 AM