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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Day Of The Wolves (1971)

A criminal mastermind (Jan Murray) gathers together a crew of criminals who've never met and assigns them a number (1 through 7) and tells them not to discuss themselves with the others. They wear beards (so they won't be able to recognize each other) and gloves as they train for a grand heist on a small Arizona town. Meanwhile, in the town, the sheriff (Richard Egan, looking tired and overweight) is asked to resign because the local council thinks he's harsh in his methods. But when the criminals enact their plan, only one man can stand up to them. Guess who? While the premise is quite clever if derivative of the 1955 VIOLENT SATURDAY (also co-starring Egan), the film is horribly amateurish almost to the point of hilarity. No one seems to show any signs of fear or terror once the town starts getting shot up. When the gunmen barge into a lumber company and demand the payroll, the secretary reacts as if they were asking for directions! Sloppily directed by Ferde Grofe Jr., poorly written (Grofe again) and indifferently acted. Still, that premise is ripe for a remake. The hideously tacky "swingin' 70s" score is by one Sean Bonniwell. With Martha Hyer, wasted in one of those hand-wringing wife roles, Rick Jason, John Lupton, Sean McClory, Percy Helton and Herb Vigran.

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