The ambulance revved at speed racing down the twisting dirt road. Accelerating through the gears with determination and purpose. What was the emergency? We soon learn this speeding vehicle wasn’t going to an incident, it was escaping one. Inside, two sweating, desperate men yell at each other.
The driver, Vince Ryker (Vince Edwards), looked at his passenger. Yeah he’d needed him half an hour ago but now he’d become a hindrance, a big problem to him. The guy sat there clutching his chest. Blood soaked through his fingers. He’d taken a hot searing bullet full on, straight through his rib cage. Panicked screamed words and wide eyed fear were in his eyes. It wouldn’t be long.
Vince didn’t really care. The old man had helped with the break-out but they knew the risks. When the shit hit the fan it was always gonna be each man for themselves. It was never gonna be easy breaking out of San Quentin State Prison and he’d personally stabbed the life out of a prison guard. Vince smiled at the thought. He was vicious and sadistic. The kind of guy the chair was made for.
It wasn’t just freedom Vince had on his mind but also the canister he had recently required. No one was getting any of the proceeds of its contents other than Vince himself. That silver container was his way to a cool fortune. “I’ve got a pound of 100 percent pure snow and it’s gonna make me a very rich man“.
Little did he know that no one really would want to prise that container from him, not even from his dead hands!
What he’s believed to contain a pound of pure heroin was something a little more potent should I say! In fact what was contained inside that flask was a deadly substance called cobalt-60. A powerful synthetic radioactive isotope that would easily dissipated in the air and spread. Instantly becoming one of the most deadly forces in existence. Contamination begins almost immediately. Just through the container itself. But if it was to be opened! It could engulf a whole city! A City Of Fear…..
Tagline – A half crazed man in a terror crazed town!
Hot on the panicked trail to track down and capture Vince and his beloved death container were Chief Jensen (Lyle Talbot) and Lt Mark Richards (John Archer). With the need of a specialist radiological expert, Dr. John Wallace (Steven Ritch) is drafted in to explain everything in detail before the manhunt is started.
“It might not wipe out the whole city straight away but within no time it would contaminate entire farms. Milk, butter, eggs would get carried into markets. Meat and produce would make there way into theaters and restaurants. It would be carried around by people on their clothes, their shoes, by insects and birds!”
“Then the symptoms would start. A hoarse cough followed with heavy sweating. Horrible retching then the blood begins to break down and then the cells. Just merely touching your skin the watered blood just oozes out of your pores. Finally you hemorrhage internally and blood fills the lungs.“…. No wonder this doctor doesn’t get out much or invited to parties!
Tagline – A million eyes wide and wild with terror!
With an army of squad cars and hundreds of police officers armed with Giger counters sweeping the area for any trace, any clue of radioactive readings. The panic in the streets and the city is on. A manhunt of massive proportions. Can they find the ruthless and savage Vince before he opens that flask of apocalyptic doom?
- If fancy finding out you can stream City Of Fear on YouTube here at time of writing.
- City Of Fear was directed by Irving Lerner. He had worked with Vince Edwards the year before in 1958 on the superb Murder By Contract.
This isn’t anywhere as good as Murder By Contract but it has some brilliant moments. Vince is a real nasty character with a savage nature. The film features some truly brutal off screen moments. The end image is stone ice cold and leaves a lasting impression. Overall this thriller isn’t the best of it genre but I do like Vince Edwards as an actor. And what with it’s quick paced run-time it does race along at a good pace. I felt it had a slight feel of a television episode. It’s well worth checking out and would make a brilliant double bill with 1965s The Satan Bug.
One you’ve seen? If not maybe give it a go. Feel free to let me know what you thought if you wish. Thanks for popping on by.
Happy viewing . Mikey Wolf.
6 thoughts on “City of Fear (1959) Manhunt Panic As Ruthless Savage Convict Escapes With A Deadly Container”
Hey Mikey, thanks for the link…I’ve never seen this one, so I’m looking forward to giving it a look. It has a similar storyline to another ‘plague’ noir, Panic in the Streets, which is worth checking out if you’ve never seen it. I also have The Satan Bug, so maybe I WILL do that double feature you mentioned…or have a long, virus-filled night and watch all three!
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A virus-filled night! AAACCHOooooo all I feel the sniffs coming on all ready! You know what do I haven’t seen Panic In The Streets yet though I do have it. Been meaning to get to it. Thanks for the nudge bud. We gonna be itching and scratching the night the away.
And with Panic in the Streets you get a couple of tough guy legends that go by the name of Palance and Widmark! And as my mother would say, cover your mouth when you sneeze!
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Ooooo can’t wait for Panic. I’ve had it on the list since you did a post quite some time back I’m sure I remember. It sparked my attention big time. Will get to it soon buddy.
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