Monday, December 29, 2014

Frozen Alive

Poor Dr. Frank Overton (Mark Stevens) has the worst timing. Just as he decides to be the human guinea pig for his new cryogenic formula, placing himself in a frozen coma of sorts, his drunken, cheating wife Joan (Delphi Lawrence) accidentally shoots herself to death. And everyone believes Frank killed her!

Let’s back up a bit. Stevens, a B-movie and television leading man who frequently directed his acting projects, spent much of the 1960s acting in Europe. Regrettably, he found himself toplining this boring science fiction movie in West Germany. Directed by British television helmer Bernard Knowles, FROZEN ALIVE was filmed with sync sound, surprisingly, but also in black-and-white, which meant there was little market for it by the time it hit North America in 1966.

It would be surprising if anybody anywhere was interested in FROZEN ALIVE. It takes forever for the plot to get going—Joan doesn’t shoot herself until the 63-minute movie is more than halfway over—because Evelyn Frazer’s screenplay is frontloaded with scientific gobbledygook and low-rate romantic melodrama.

Joan is jealous because she believes Overton is dallying with his attractive lab partner played by Marianne Koch (he isn’t). There’s absolutely no suspense or urgency to any of this. We know Frank didn’t shoot his wife, and he doesn’t even know she has been shot. The only bright spot in this boring movie is Lawrence, whose drunken ramblings provide FROZEN ALIVE with the only energy it has.

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