"He knew who he was...and he knew who he hated."
I decided to step into the Wayback Machine today and set the dial for "B-Movie: Awesome"...sadly, I miscalculated my coordinates and ended up in "B-Movie: Boring".
Lon Chaney stars in Indestructible Man (1956) as Charles "The Butcher" Benton, a nefarious fellow who masterminded an armored car heist, netting a cool 600Gs. When his partners turn state's evidence and Benton is sentenced to die, he vows to somehow kill his partners and his slimebag lawyer but good.
After San Quentin sees to gassing up The Butcher, his corpse is given to a noble biochemist who's trying to find a cure for cancer. Delighted to finally have a human specimen to experiment with, The Noble Biochemist pumps The Butcher full of...err, goo and zaps him with 300,000 volts of pure electric electricity. As can be expected, the procedure brings The Butcher back to life. He's not only back, however- he's back and better than ever, for he's now...an invulnerable mute!
Like any good invulnerable mute, The Butcher promptly strangles The Noble Biochemist and sets off towards Los Angeles to wreak his vengeful revenge on his stoolie jerko partners.
This sounds fantastic, right? Sure it does! 15 minutes into Indestructible Man, I was starting to wonder how I could go about becoming an invulnerable mute myself, because frankly it would solve a lot of my problems. Much to my chagrin though, the movie promptly slows to a crawl and we get large chunks of time wherein Lon Chaney walks around with his hands in the pockets of his rather stylish coat and sweats.
We also spend lots of time with the detective who's been working The Butcher case for more than a year...Lieutenant Dick Chasen. I'll leave comments on that name up to you- I mean, I can't give you everything, people.
With tighter direction and better writing, Indestructible Man could've kicked ass. For example, when The Butcher does meet up with his old cronies, he wastes no time taking care of business- his eyes get all crazy and he picks people up and throws them. The problem is all the non-crazy-eyed "action", which crawls along at a dreadfully dull pace. This movie clocked in at about 80 minutes, when it should've been 60. Why pad things out? If it takes 60 minutes to tell your story well, then it takes 60 minutes. I'd rather have more Lon Chaney throwing people than Lon Chaney sweating. Oh well. It just goes to show that even movies featuring invulnerable mutes aren't always going to be great...and yes, this was shocking to me. I give it 4.5 out of 10 I need a sweet nickname like The Butchers.