Sunday, March 4, 2018

The Man Who Would Not Die (1975)

One way to set appropriate expectations for this cheaply made mystery/thriller is to note that leading man Alex Sheafe, who spent much of his career appearing on soaps, comes off as a poor man’s Gil Gerard. Yes, that’s how low the bar is set. Set and filmed in the Caribbean, The Man Who Would Not Die tells the confusing story of Marc Rogers (Sheafe), a seaman who stumbles into intrigue. First he signs on to captain a private ship for a cruise to Miami, only to have his patron die of a heart attack midway through the voyage. Then he becomes the target of a police investigation when, after returning to shore, the first mate from that trip is murdered. Later still, Marc gains unwanted attention from a Mafia enforcer (Kennan Wynn), who believes the patron didn’t actually die and that Marc knows the whereabouts of stolen Mob loot. And just to make things even more complicated, Marc gets entangled with women including the widow of the fellow who died—or didn’t die, or whatever. Because, you see, the gist of The Man Who Would Not Die is that the dude who hired Marc was a fugitive, so he assumed many false identities—and therefore, some of the people who die in the story might or might not be persons whose names the fugitive used. Making a story this twisty work requires both a light touch and a sharp mind, qualities that co-writer/director Robert Arkless does not manifest. Therefore, even though this picture runs only 83 minutes, it’s so episodic and insipid and sluggish that a better title would have been The Movie That Would Not Die.

The Man Who Would Not Die: LAME


greg6363 said...

A poor man's Gil Gerard? Can we aim a bit higher?

Unknown said...

Not even a poor man's Gerard Butler.

Guy Callaway said...

Have to agree. That's like saying 'A second-string Lee Horsley'. ;)