Hand Of Death (1962)

hand of death 1962

All he wanted to do was come up with a hypnotic nerve gas to eliminate nuclear war. Now look what happens.

Chemist Alex Marsh (John Agar) is working in a desert lab with his college boy assistant Carlos. He thinks his compound will knock out the enemy. When they come to they’ll be in a hypnotic state and be open to follow any orders given. Simple. Who needs A-Bombs?

He goes to his boss Dr.Ramsey in L.A.  all smiles. His girlfriend Carol (Paula Raymond) is Ramsey’s live-in secretary. His pal Tom, also a chemist. is halfheartedly pursuing Carol but he really knows better. Got to have some light comedy relief in a drama this heavy.Alex says he only needs a few more weeks and he’ll have it.

He goes back to the desert lab. Carlos says Alex looks like he’s working to hard. It’s the weekend and Alex is on his own. He mixes up another batch while wearing a gas mask. Good thing. When the air clears he’s really tired and knocks over the beaker. He wipes up the spill and clutches his hand. Uh-Oh. Bad times ahead.

He has a nightmare about mice and dancing beakers. It’s Monday and Carlos is back. He comments on Alex looking like he’s been in the sun too long. Carlos reaches into a tank to get some dead mice when Alex grabs his arm to stop him. Scratch one college boy. Alex sets the place on fire and heads for L.A.

Even chemists in a panic have cars that needs gas. The attendant (Joe Besser) makes the mistake of touching him on the arm. Time to put out the Help Wanted sign. Alex phoned Ramsey and told him to have a room ready for him in his house and not saying anything to Tom or Carol. At the house he tells Ramsey…no hospital. He says he’ll kill anyone that tries to take to one.

Later Ramsey has a serum. Looks like he forgot an ingredient or two. Alex’s face swells to twice its size and he looks like he got burned after falling into some hot charcoal. Ramsey gets out of his wheelchair. He won’t need it anymore. Earlier he spilled the beans to Tom and Carol and Tom is working on his version of a serum.

Carol comes home and uses her screaming skills and runs out the door. Alex jumps in his station wagon and heads for town. Along the way he discovers that even monsters can have a flat tire. He hops in a cab. The driver doesn’t panic but tells him to get out and find another cab. Alex stays put. The cabbie reaches in to pull him out. There’s an opening at the company for a driver.

Tom steals the cab and heads for the beach. Up ahead by the water is a kid playing. It’s…..Eddie Munster!….or it will be in a few years. Davey (Butch Patrick) almost touches Alex but his mother’s voice makes him head for home. Tom heads down the beach. Back at Ramsey’s the cops are there with Tom and Carol. They think Alex is headed back. To get Carol out of harms way she’s told to wait it out at Tom’s beach house. Of course that tips off where Alex is heading. Carol’s restless. She’ll soon get a visitor to keep her occupied.

No surprise that this movie was made on the cheap….real cheap. It was directed by top pro Gene Nelson which is a surprise. It has a small fun quotient which keeps it from the worst ever list.  The monster makeup is so heavy I had to wonder if it was really John Agar or if he got a break with a stunt man carrying the load.

This is the thanks I get for trying to eliminate nukes

This is the thanks I get for trying to eliminate nukes

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About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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