Directed by Robert Florey [Other horror films: Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932)]
It’s been some years since I’ve last seen this one, and I have to admit that I didn’t find it as enjoyable this time around as I did the first time I saw it. It’s not that The Beast with Five Fingers is a bad movie, because it certainly has it’s charm, but I do think an argument could be made that it moderately overstays it’s welcome, and that goofy conclusion didn’t help much.
Of course, it’s great to see Peter Lorre focused on so heavily here. He’s not the main character, no, but he does have an important role, and given how fantastic he was in the eleven-year earlier Mad Love, it’s nice to see him being thrown a somewhat similar role. Robert Alda (who later starred in a forgettable horror film ironically titled The Devil’s Hand) was a decent lead, and with J. Carroll Naish (The Monster Maker), they were an interesting pair trying to figure out what was going on.
Even so, as fun as some of the movie was, it definitely felt like it was dragging past the half-way mark, and again, the final few moments throws in some goofy things that aren’t be any means deal-breakers, but at the same time, I wish they had at least kept it down to one goofy ending scene, as opposed to two.
Still, I’ll give this credit for it’s original idea (especially for a decade like the 1940’s) that predates The Hand by 35 years and Idle Hands by 53 years (these are the only three killer hand movies that I can think of, so take that as you will). I just wish it had cut a few things out. The Beast with Five Fingers isn’t a bad movie, but I do think it’s a bit below average, which is definitely not my view on it when I last saw it.