Blu-Ray News #113: The Killer Is Loose (1955).


Directed by Budd Boetticher
Starring Joseph Cotten, Rhonda Fleming, Wendell Corey, Alan Hale, Jr., Michael Pate, John Larch

Now we’re talking! Budd Boetticher’s The Killer Is Loose (1956) is coming to Blu-Ray from ClassicFlix. The release date evidently hasn’t been nailed down.

Ballard (beside the camera) and Boetticher (in front of Ballard) shooting a scene on a bus.

This terrific noir shows that Boetticher’s mastery of the movies wasn’t limited to Westerns or Randolph Scott. It’s tight, tense and terrific — with Wendell Corey giving a very creepy, career-best performance. Joseph Cotton and Rhonda Fleming are good, too. Lucien Ballard’s cinematography is top-notch with some great location work. The Killer Is Loose is a really good one.

Budd Boetticher (from his book When In Disgrace): “The Killer Is Loose was a good film with Joseph Cotton, Rhonda Fleming and Wendell Corey, who were wonderful to work with. But I don’t think they appreciated what Lucien and I did. We made that picture in 15 days on a 20-day schedule.”

This came out the same year as Budd’s Seven Men From Now (1956). Boy, was he on a roll! Way overlooked — and way overdue on Blu-Ray.



Filed under 1956, Budd Boetticher, DVD/Blu-ray News, United Artists

9 responses to “Blu-Ray News #113: The Killer Is Loose (1955).

  1. john k

    Really stoked about this,Toby,
    You quiet rightly say a career best performance from Corey.
    Another career destroyed by booze.
    Lovely Rhonda in a rainstorm is quiet something to see.


  2. john k

    BTW-just received Twilight Time’s new Blu Ray of EDGE OF ETERNITY
    mentioned a few threads back and one if I remember correctly
    that you have never seen-if that is so you are in for a real treat-
    the Twilight Time disc has stunning picture quality.
    Great to see these unheralded films get such love and attention.


  3. Richard Oravitz

    Good to see so many Blu Rays coming up for stuff I like, and though I’m tempted, I still have DVDs of these movies that I haven’t watched yet, THE KILLER IS LOOSE included. However, I’m excited by john k’s news of the Paul Naschy triple bill. I haven’t checked it out, but I hope this is not just a Region 2 PAL release as I do not as of yet have a region-free Blu Ray player. I suppose I’ll have to wait forever for Abel Gance’s restored NAPOLEON with the Carl Davis score to be released in the States as it doesn’t look like it’s happening anytime soon. Also, I’ve been buying several of the great Japanese cop thrillers & Italian films (SPAGHETTI WESTERNS) that ARROW VIDEO has released, but when they bring out the ultimate version of Peckinpah’s BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA, it’s Region 2!!!???!!! and not available in the USA. I know I should buy a region-free Blu Ray player but my current player (a gift) is relatively new and I’ll be using it for quite some time.
    The last Good Wine, Bad Film Festival was held a few weeks ago featuring RETURN OF THE KILLER SHREWS (a really Bad Movie if there ever was one!) along with the original, both starring James Best of course. Antonio Margheriti’s Klaus Kinski classic AND GOD SAID TO CAIN followed, a gothic Spaghetti Western with Kinski as a killing machine, pushing this one almost into the realm of “art film”. Finally, the film that made A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS possible, LAS PISTOLAS NO DISCUTEN (BULLETS DON’T ARGUE). Shot at the same time and on many of the same locations as FISTFUL, this was the bankable major feature that carried Leone’s film on its shirt tails. It was said that Rod Cameron alone earned more money than the entire FISTFUL cast combined. FISTFUL went on to legendary status while BULLETS DON’T ARGUE disappeared into never land. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised by this film and how well made it was. Being released before FISTFUL it’s still a throwback to American Westerns of the fifties. Cameron gives a solid (rugged) performance and it looks great in a beautiful letterboxed print from SINISTER CINEMA for under 10 bucks. Ennio Morricone even provides a rousing score under an assumed name. I urge all Fifties Westerns fans (and Rod Cameron fans) to seek this one out as It’s a pretty enjoyable ride across the plains of Spain.


  4. john k

    Great to hear from you Richard.
    Firstly the Naschy triple bill is being released by Code Red a USA
    outfit available through Screen Archives…no release date announced
    Code Red have recently released a restored/remastered version of
    Steve Reeves only Spaghetti A LONG RIDE TO HELL. The Reeves film
    is an above average Spaghetti where the makers have tried as much as
    they can to make it look like the real thing. The film also has a co-starring
    role for Colt 45’s Wade Preston as the heavy.
    Interesting comments regarding the Cameron Spaghetti and also his
    salary.Film would have been better served by not having Cameron’s
    character as Pat Garrett especially as Billy Clanton is drawn into the mix-
    still it’s a superior effort all things considered.
    Never seen Cameron’s other Spaghetti BULLETS AND THE FLESH.
    Cameron finally took over from Lex Barker and Stewart Granger in the
    Winnetou series for one last gasp effort.The Cameron Winnetou is
    available as a very nice looking Sony (USA) MOD.
    Another very early Spaghetti is GUNMEN OF THE RIO GRANDE
    (aka Duel At Rio Bravo) directed by Tulio Demicheli. Here Guy Madison
    plays Wyatt Earp who prefers to call himself Laramie.
    Demichheli’s direction and the superior camera work certainly raise the
    game on this one-a very stylish little movie. This was Madison’s first
    (of many) starring roles in a Spaghetti. He had previously played the
    heavy in Hugo Fregonese’s OLD SHATTERHAND (aka Apache’s Last
    Battle) arguably the best of the Winnetou series. I wish a USA label
    would release this sort of stuff on Blu Ray.
    Tulio Demicheli is probably best known for the Sean Flynn SON OF
    CAPTAIN BLOOD produced by Harry Joe Brown of all people.
    Demicheli also directed (along with; according to imdb & Wikipedia,
    Hugo Fregonse) the Naschy vehicle ASSIGNMENT TERROR.
    I’d love to see Code Red restore OLD SHATTERHAND,BULLETS
    It would be nice to see all three on Blu Ray and GUNMEN OF THE
    RIO GRANDE is as close as possible to making a Euro Western that
    looked like an Allied Artists Fifties Color ‘Scope Programmer Western.


  5. john k

    I might add that The Cameron Winnetou flick translates into
    THUNDER AT THE BORDER for the very nice looking Sony MOD.
    Lex Barker played “Old Shatterhand” in the series,Stewart Granger
    became “Old Surehand” and Cameron,for his sole effort “Old Firehand”


  6. john k

    Richard, If you are still with this thread,and I hope that you are;
    I note that Scream Factory have announced a five (count’em)
    Film Blu Ray set of Paul Naschy films.
    Blu have this listed for a June release.
    Richard,it looks as if you are in for an expensive time…the story of my
    life these days.
    Olive Films have gone all art house with their April releases-I was hoping
    for more Paramount titles especially unreleased (even on DVD) titles
    much sought after films…and then there are the 12 thus far unreleased
    A.C.Lyles Westerns.
    I might add that Paramount Westerns like LAST TRAIN FROM GUN HILL,
    THE SONS OF KATIE ELDER and NEVADA SMITH are way overdue
    for Blu Ray releases.


    • John, don’t get me started on a Blu-Ray of Last Train From Gun Hill!

      I’m working on a review now, but the Blu-Ray of World Without End looks splendid. No extras, no nothing, but the movie looks sharper and cleaner than I figured it would, and the Eastmancolor/print by Technicolor looks great. The movie’s one I’ve always loved, especially since we’ve been able to see it widescreen.


  7. john k

    Toby,I just cannot wait to get my paws on WORLD WITHOUT END-
    even more so now that you have given the picture quality two thumbs
    up.It’s got me wondering what other Allied Artists ‘Scope/Color films
    would look like on Blu Ray…DRAGOON WELLS MASSACRE for instance.
    Shout/Scream Factory are really churning them out..great artwork for
    their forthcoming THE ANGRY RED PLANET.
    Never seen Charles B Pierce’s THE EVICTORS but with a cast headed
    by Vic Morrow and Michael Parks its got to be of interest.


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