Pyro (1964)

PYRO (1964)
Article 2431 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 11-24-2007
Posting Date: 4-8-2008
Directed by Julio Coll and Luis Garcia
Featuring Barry Sullivan, Martha Hyer, Sherry Moreland

A married American engineer in Spain falls for another woman. When he tries to break off the affair, his lover, thinking she can win him back if his wife and child are dead, sets fire to his home after he leaves for a meeting. He returns unexpectedly, and is horribly burned in the attempt to save his family. He swears revenge on the woman who killed them…

This movie was produced and cowritten by Sidney Pink, who also gave us ANGRY RED PLANET, REPTILICUS and JOURNEY TO THE SEVENTH PLANET. Though his presence is hardly a guarantee of quality, I find something likable and interesting about his work. This is perhaps his best movie, and I suspect that he was somewhat influenced by Hitchcock here. The story itself is fairly obvious and straightforward, but there’s an attention to detail and a number of odd touches that held my attention and interest, and this was especially crucial during the first half of the movie, which is largely setting up the events that lead to the fire. My favorite touches include he engineer’s obsession with Ferris Wheels, and the scene where he describes his neighbors in the apartment building where he lives. Barry Sullivan and Martha Hyer give solid and effective performances. The movie has a bit of a split personality; the opening credits feature happy, jolly carnival music, but the credits are displayed in that overly-scary K. Gordon Murray Mexican Movie Font, and at one point during my viewing, my wife, who had overheard parts of the first half of the movie and then had taken a shower during the middle section with the fire, came back in and found the mood so changed that she thought I was now watching a different movie. It’s not a great movie, but it’s a good one, and I quite liked it.



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