• Not Fuller’s best (that’s Park Row or Pickup on South Street) but it is the most Sam Fuller of Sam Fuller films; low budget, overflowing with energy, bad taste, unsubtle— full of fresh ideas, reveling in its salacious content
  • Nymphomaniacs, fetishism, incest, impotence—haha- wild—lots of screaming and a long take Constance Towers striptease
  • Shot in 10 days, one set, no exteriors
  • Like many of Fuller’s films it is a reporter expose. Peter Breck (who just isn’t amazing here) plays Johnny Barrett- a reporter who fakes mental illness to get his way into an insane asylum (mental hospital) to investigate a murder
  • The murder mystery honestly doesn’t work. You don’t know these people and it doesn’t matter at all. It is about the spectacle of the asylum, the great characters there, and Barrett’s decent into madness
  • He works for Daily Globe—same as in Park Row. This is part of the self-referential world Fuller creates– like Tarantino (or Tarantino does it like Sam Fuller). There’s a newspaper headline behind the editor about the statue of liberty (which is directly from Park Row)
  • Gene Evans is back with Fuller—actor collaborator on 1950’s films including Steel Helmet
  • We get tons of inner monologue—it’s not great. We even get one scene where we get Constance Towers inner monologue which is bad form. If it were cleaner it would be fine if it was confined to Barrett’s character- but if you had a really good actor you wouldn’t need it
  • Constance Towers is hypnotizing—and not just because she’s doing a striptease or superimposed wearing a boa – she is an interesting actor
  • Twelve years before Forman’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest taking us inside one of these places
  • Fuller uses color as flashback formal interludes as Breck’s character interviews three key characters—the southern soldier character, the black KKK member (hello Dave Chapelle skit!), and the Evans character. I like it- but it is bad form that Fuller drops it two-thirds of the way through—weak—he doesn’t do it for Evans section. It does give him a chance to sound off and rattle some cages on American hypocrisy: war, race, the bomb—hot topics for Fuller’s criticisms
  • Great shot/sequence at 92 minutes with the rain inside and then a strong, un-Hollywood, pessimistic finale—Fuller’s camera goes around to all the characters in the hospital in a 1 minute unbroken take (he has several nice long takes including the opening credits on just an empty corridor and titles). No fake tacked on happy ending
  • Highly Recommend