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The Flame Barrier

Flame Barrier, The (1958) Movie Poster
USA  •    •  70m  •    •  Directed by: Paul Landres.  •  Starring: Arthur Franz, Kathleen Crowley, Robert Brown, Vicente Padula, Rodd Redwing, Kaz Oran, Grace Mathews, Pilar Del Rey, Larry Duran, Bernie Gozier, Roberto Contreras, Dan Gachman.  •  Music by: Gerald Fried.
     Carol Dahlmann enlists the Hollister brothers to help locate her missing husband. The husband was tracking a fallen satellite through the jungle. While tracking him down, the trio discover an unusually strong acid killing animals and people.

Review:

This film was first released in 1958 to fill the bottom half of a double bill with the much superior RETURN OF DRACULA. I have an original poster for this double bill hanging in my living room. I first saw this film as a kid on T.V. in the mid sixties. It was frequently shown on "Supernatural Theater." It was one of my favorites when I was a kid. However, viewing the film as an adult, without eyes dimmed by nostalgia, THE FLAME BARRIER is just what it is; a quickly made thriller to back up a much superior film to fill a "shock" double bill.

On the plus side: I will admit the film does have a few good shocks. One character suddenly burns to death and turns into a skeleton (for reasons that that are never adequately explained) and the shot of the dead scientist body embedded in protoplasmic mass are pretty effective. The cast is good and the direction involving enough that you forget half the film consists of the cast cutting through brush. However, the script has the feel of having been written very quickly. The film wraps up leaving the viewer with more loose ends than an old dish rag. When the explorers find the satellite and protoplasmic mass, they also find the monkey that was sent up in satellite still alive. Why did the protoplasmic mass not devour it or destroy it with its radiation when the monkey was in the satellite with it? As the previous reviewer here pointed out, this blob stays in one place and much of the plot depends on this. Yet, before the cast even encounters the blob, they encounter charred skeletons, a blood soaked Indian village, and then there is the Indian guide who was never near the blob encased satellite, who suffers from radiation burns and then mysteriously burns up down to a skeleton. Perhaps the satellite brought something else back with it that the adventurers didn't encounter? Perhaps more likely this film was rushed into production before the writers had time for a re-write to tie up all the loose ends.


Review by jim riecken from the Internet Movie Database.