Frozen Alive
(DER FALL X701) 1964

Director: Bernard Knowles

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

With its jaunty jazzy soundtrack, one almost expects Frozen Alive (Der Fall X701, 1964) to be a 1950s teensploitation film directed by fifty-year-olds, or a 1960s Streets of San Francisco television detective episode.

Frozen AliveBut no, it's a b/w science fiction tale of cyrogenics, with middle-aged to elderly cast, made in Germany & dubbed by monotone voices, a mite goofy beginning to end, but oddly likeable specifically because it is so dumb & dated.

It's padded with soapy dull stuff about cuckholdry & jealousy & drinking & arguments, & whether it would be moral to perform the experiments on humans. There's also a "jungle dance" interlude at a night club, so maximumly crummy it's a hoot.

The scientist's wife Joan (Delphi Lawrence) is bored, just like the rest of us, on a date with her ex-boyfriend Tony (Joachim Hansen) from the newspaper. So she gets roaring drunk, steals Tony's gun, & staggers off to do some pretty stupid things.

The marriage of our milquetoast hero Dr. Frank Overton (Mark Stevens) is so screwed up, & his research so threatened by those who don't want the final stage experiment done (on human subjects), he decides what the hell, he'll fast-freeze his own miserable hide.

Meanwhile Joan, having sobered up the next day, nevertheless & improbably points the gun at her chest & accidentally shoots herself. Joan's boyfriend is with her when she shoots herself, but he quickly takes off, so it will look like the scientist Frank killed his wife.

Ninety-five percent murder mystery, but with no mystery about it, it's pretty weak for the mystery as well as for the science fiction. The fact that Frank is frozen without knowing his wife's shot has no extra drama to it at all, & the freezing process has no interesting visual content.

The minimal suspense turns on whether or not Dr. Helen Wieland (Marianne Koch) will let Frank die during the thawing process rather than let the police have him for a crime she believes he committed, or if she'll learn in time he's totally innocent & therefore revive him correctly.

The various equipment for this experiment could rightly be called the Badometer, Dumberator, & Silliograph. I found it all very idly entertaining as tedius rubbish goes.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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