THE CRIMES OF STEPHEN HAWKE (strangler`s morgue) (1936 U.K.) D: GEORGE KING W: JACK CELESTIN/H.F. MALTBY/PAUL WHITE
After MARIA MARTEN, OR THE MURDER IN THE RED BARN and SWEENEY TODD, Tod Slaughter starred in his first great film (by his best director). It`s a little different than his usual fare because his character (The Spine-Breaker) isn`t a complete psycho, but in fact ends up a little bit of a tragic hero. He was back playing black-hearted villains soon enough though. Ronald Neame was the photographer (b/w). In 1953 in the U.S., you could have experienced a Slaughter double-bill of this (under it`s aka) plus THE GREED OF WILLIAM HART (as HORROR MANIACS)!! Slaughter deserves to be more recognised as being just as (if not more, time taken into consideration) lurid than Hammer horror, before that well-documented phenomenon.

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