DARK INTRUDER (1965 U.S.) D: HARVEY HART W: BARRE LYNDON P: JACK LAIRD
A failed 59 min. pilot for a proposed tv series (to be called The Black Cloak) that was sent to theatres instead. Leslie Nielsen stars as a dapper, wealthy socialite and occultist in San Francisco 1890. He has a dwarf butler/assistant, a secret lab and, like Sherlock Holmes wears disguises and aides the police. A rash of Jack the Ripper-like killings leaves the victims with claw marks, and a small, carved ivory statuette of an ancient Sumerian demon God is left at the murder scenes. I for one regret that this never became a series (an interesting pre-cursor to THE NIGHT STALKER), but what remains is pretty cool. John F. Warren provides excellent noir-like b/w photography, and Lalo Schifrin the score. Peter Mark Richman co-stars in a genuinely bizarre story that must have inspired BASKET CASE! With Werner Kelmperer, Vaughn Taylor, Peter Brocco as a Chinaman, Bill Quinn, Holly Bane and Al Lettieri. It has some similarities with CHAMBER OF HORRORS, another (color) failed tv pilot (from the following year) that went to the big screen. Lyndon was most famous for adapting H.G. Wells for THE WAR OF THE WORLDS. Laird later created the NIGHT GALLERY series.

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