A slew of really bad movies came out in 1958, and Amazon Prime Video is a treasure chest of them. Here is Curse of the Faceless Man, which is guaranteed to chew up 67 minutes of your spare time. I watch these so you don’t have to. Details are from Wikipedia
Here is a list of the main characters:
- Richard Anderson as Dr. Paul Mallon
- Elaine Edwards as Tina Enright
- Adele Mara as Maria Fiorillo
- Luis Van Rooten as Dr. Carlo Fiorello
- Gar Moore as Dr. Enrico Ricci
- Felix Locher as Dr. Emanuel
- Jan Arvan as Inspector Rinaldi
- Bob Bryant as Quintillus Aurelius
Opening scenes show the ancient city of Pompeii in Italy, buried under ash from the nearby Vesuvius Volcano since 25 August of the year 79. We get to see some of the remarkable ruins uncovered by archaeologists in the past century, and we see an excavation worker hacking away at the ground with a shovel. An ornate jewel box falls out from the side of his dig, and while he is examining it out comes a hand.
Well, that’s a major find. There have many before. People of Pompeii were so caught so unaware that many had no chance to escape when the volcano began to rumble and spew ash, and when a deluge of ash rained down on that fateful day they were trapped, almost in mid-stride and frozen in time by the ash.
What the workman has found is a complete human form, and interested scientists converge to analyze it. Seen below are Dr. Fiorello, Dr. Mallon , Dr. Ricci, and Maria Fiorillo, herself a medical doctor.
Meanwhile a driver is bringing the human relic to the museum in Naples, when the creature comes alive, breaks through some wooden planking, and murders the driver. The truck crashes, and police come to investigate.
Dr. Emanuel translates the inscription on a bronze medallion found in the jewel case.
The translation is ominous. The deceased victim of the volcano was an Etruscan gladiator (Bob Bryant), who has vowed revenge on all Romans.
By now it has become known that Maria and Dr. Mallon once had a thing going.
But that is over now, and Mallon has a sweet fiancée, Tina. She is a real looker. Somehow it is all these movie characters wind up with the choice babes.
But Tina is an artist, and she has had a bad dream. It’s a dream about the Etruscan, and she dreamed it before learning of the archaeological find. She tells her beau about it, and she shows him a painting she has made, depicting the Etruscan in bondage. At night she can’t sleep, and she gets dressed and goes down to the museum to sketch the Etruscan.
It’s at this point the plot began to lose me. I mean, a 2000-year-old relic comes to life and kills a museum driver, that’s almost believable. But somebody getting up in the middle of the night and going down to the museum to sketch the creature—think about it. She dresses to the nines before leaving her apartment. A skirt and a nice jacket? Didn’t they have blue jeans 60 years ago?
Anyhow, the museum piece comes alive, and Tina screams. She does a lot of that in the movie. This attracts the museum guard, and the creature swats him so hard he dies. The creature then goes to the jewel case, now dashed to the floor, and retrieves a broach, which he pins to that fabulous jacket while Tina lies fainted on the floor. Then he lies back down to await further events.
All decide that the Etruscan is infatuated with Tina. Then he comes alive while all are watching.
They figure he is after Tina, and she is returned to her apartment and placed under guard. But the guard is not very tight, because the Etruscan wanders the streets of Naples, retracing a route that existed two millennia before, taking him to the very spot where Tina is trying to get some sleep. Again she screams, but again it’s too late. By the time the guards arrive at her door she is gone, carried away toward the Cove of the Deaf Fisherman.
Before others can stop him, the Etruscan wades into the surf, carrying the hapless Tina. But then his ancient crust begins to dissolve in the sea water, and Dr. Mallon wades in and rescues his true love.
And that’s the end of the Faceless Man. If you don’t have Amazon Prime you can watch the movie on YouTube for $1.99.