THE CURSE OF THE WRAYDONS (1946)
Article #679 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 1-23-2003
Posting date: 6-22-2003
Directed by Victor M. Gover
Featuring Tod Slaughter, Bruce Seton, Andrew Laurence
When a soldier is taken into custody for starting a duel, he escapes, and then finds out that he is being framed for a series of murders.
The curse is insanity, by the way, which explains why many people end up believing the accusations that our hero is guilty of murder; however, we in the audience know better, because this is a Tod Slaughter movie, and therefore there should be little doubt as to who the real villain is. It’s also about Spring-Heeled Jack, and though I don’t know (pardon the expression) jack about Spring-Heeled Jack, I would have thought that a movie about him would have him as the villain. No, it’s the good guy who has that nickname; Tod Slaughter is called the Chief (though he does have another name, but that would be giving away too much). The movie has a fairly involved plot, and it takes a goodly amount of time setting it up, and there are a lot of static, talky scenes without Tod, but be patient; when Tod comes on, he chews the scenery in his patented style, and the script gives him a fair amount of great lines. It’s all pure melodrama of the type they don’t really make anymore, but at least we have these old ones we can go back to and enjoy.
Still, I can’t help but wish that would get at least one special effect of Spring-Heeled Jack doing his jumping thing, even a cheap one. Alas, it is only talked about.