Much like I would suppose they were designed to do when first released, these six re-packaged B-Movies tend to suggest from their appearance that there is much more going on that what eventually shows up onscreen. The title itself (Weird-Noir) is a bit deceptive too; there are really only two movies here that I would consider weird or off-beat, and none are classic noir. Of course, everyone's definition of both those terms vary so widely that it isn't worth the time picking them apart. At the time they were made, they probably WERE quite weird.
For those with more prurient interests, there is no nudity in any of these films, though a lot of women in slips and swimwear. Sex is only implied, but a pretty consistent theme. In four of the six films, young, attractive women are at the mercy of ruthless pimps, gangsters, crooked cops and crazy husbands, which might appeal to certain types; of the other two, one is a femme fatale who has the man under her thumb, and the other is a frame-up story with little feminine intervention.
The picture and audio quality ranges from bad to serviceable. Fear No More has probably the best production value, the best all-around acting, story and quality. The Seventh Commandment is probably the worst of those same categories. The others range somewhere in between, but mostly at the bottom. All of the films are in black and white, all from the 1960's, and all presented in 4:3 aspect ratio. No subtitles or special features are included.
***1/2 Fear No More - Is she crazy or is she being framed for murder? Former mental patient fears she's headed back to the looney bin. This is as close to normal entertainment as these discs get.
** 1/2 Stark fear - Beverly Garland and Kenneth Tobey star. Garland is married to a creepy misogynist who calmly sits back in the shadows as his best friend rapes his wife in a cemetery. Garland supposedly said she disliked this film most of all out her filmography.
** 1/2 Fallguy - Pretty decent frame-job story marred by mediocre acting and bad lighting. Young hot-rodder happens upon a car-wreck, not knowing it was a syndicate hit.
** Girl on the Run - This is pretty weird. Two young lovers on the run try to find refuge in a carnival. Creepy in a very seedy way.
** The Naked Road - Young attractive girl gets mixed up with the wrong married guy. Next thing, she's the captive of white slavers. Cheap, Cheesy, and very very Seedy.
* 1/2 The Seventh Commandment - Amnesiac who mysteriously found the healing power of the Holy Spirit when he lost his memory is blackmailed by a woman from his playboy past.
From a pure entertainment point of view, these films are way, way below average. From a film buffs point of view, they are interesting. I begin to think of the late 50's and early 60's as this sort of innocent, virginal time, and most film and television from that time tend to re-enforce that sort of image, and then I get a look at stuff like this and realize the market for variant films was still around, even if somewhat squashed by convention. Keep in mind, these films are so tame by today's standards that those looking for a thrill are going to be disappointed. Those who have enjoyed other films from the Something Weird catalog may want to give this one a look - this is my first selection of theirs, and I think I got what I expected. While nothing here is really shocking, it sort of reminds me of spraying lysol on vomit. I feel as though I should be wearing a trench coat and watching these films in some moldy theater downtown.
Overall I call it a positive experience.