The Film: 4/5
I'm a big fan of film Noir, and have seen the majority of them from the 1940s and 1950ís. Storm Fear is one film which I had not seen before (or even heard of!) , mainly because it wasnít ever on home video. After viewing it twice in the past week, I think itís a real gem. Cornel Wilde stars in this movie; he was great actor who starred in several great Noir classics such as The Big Combo, Leave Her to Heaven and Road House. Later in his career he also directed a few popular cult classics such as The Naked Prey, No Blade of Grass. Horror fanatics might remember him as the main character in the excellent made for TV horror Gargoyles as an anthropologist battling demons.
In Storm Fear, Wilde directs himself as Charles Blake, a vicious bank robber who was shot in the leg, who seeks refuge in his brotherís home. His brother is none other than the great Dan Duryea (The Great Flamarion, Too Late for Tears) giving a GREAT performance as Fred Blake in a rare soft yet heroic role.
As his leg heals up and time moves forward, we learn that Wilde previously had an affair with Duryeaís wife, Elizabeth Blake played by Jean Wallace and wants to rekindle that relationship. A young boy, David Stollery, playing, well, David in this film is Duryeaís son, but the son prefers his uncle. David looks up to his uncle Cornel as he sees him as a decent, courageous human being and not the bad guy as everyone else knows his is. The film has plenty of tension with the family that builds as we learn about the relationship with Wilde, his brotherís wife and son. We learn that things with this family are not as they appear to be. One of the things I found most interesting in this movie is the role reversals of both Wilde and Duryea. During most crime, gangster and Noir thrillers, it was Dan Duryea who was the antagonist, the villain while Cornel Wilde often had roles as a police officer and a tough guy on the side of the law.
ďWhy is this movie called Storm Fear?Ē you ask. The simple answer is the entire store takes place during a snowstorm including the climax which I will not spoil. Itís on sale with most online retailers at this time and is a great opportunity to see this movie for a discounted price!
Storm Fear gets its home video debut via Kino Lorber and this blu ray release is a really good presentation. Given a 1080p , MPEG 4 AVC encode, the image quality looks really good. Blacks are solid, grain is present. Itís a clean image although there are a few scenes where the image was a little soft or hazy but overall this is a really impressive widescreen transfer.
The audio quality is the usual Kino DTS-HD Master Audio English 2.0 and once again no real audio issues.
We donít get much in the way of extras other than trailers for A Bullet For Joey, He Ran All the Way, and Witness to Murder.
This is a very solid release from Kino Lorber. A really good above average classic Noir for fans of films from this era along with a really good transfer from Kino make this one a winner. For some older movies, obtaining extras is difficult but for a movie this enjoyable, looking and sounding as good as it ever will, I can give that a pass for releases such as this. Recommended!