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THE FACE AT THE WINDOW (1939) **

Tod Slaughter made a career out of starring in over the top murder mystery gothic melodramas (or “Barn Stormers”).  Nearly all of these films are interchangeable and feature Slaughter A) Playing a respectable businessman by day who moonlights as a killer (who usually goes by a cool alias),  B) Falling in love with a beautiful chick that wants nothing to do with him, C) Framing said chick’s boyfriend for his crimes; which prompts the dumbass to clear his name, and D) Totally cracking up and going apeshit in the final reel when the police close in on him.  The Face at the Window isn’t very good but at least it adheres to these conventions to the letter.

 

The Face at the Window finds Slaughter playing a respectable businessman who moonlights as a killer nicknamed “The Wolf”.  When he falls in love with a beautiful chick, he frames her boyfriend for his crimes, which prompts the dumbass to clear his name.  When the police close in on The Wolf, he goes apeshit before plummeting to his doom. 

 

In addition to the usual Slaughter shenanigans we also have a subplot about a scientist perfecting a contraption that allows a dead body to return to life briefly so it can name it’s murderer.  There is also some nonsense about a feral man-beast that The Wolf keeps in a cage who does his dirty work for him.  Other than that, it’s the same shit, different toilet. 

 

Look, if you’ve seen one Tod Slaughter movie, you’ve pretty much seen them all.  The Face at the Window isn’t the first, last, best, or worst Slaughter film out there, but it’s not terrible or anything.  Slaughter returned the next year with Crimes at the Dark House.

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