Hero and the Terror

This film essentially contrasts three locations: the extant Santa Monica Pier Merry-Go-Round, Sinbad’s (also on the pier, used in a Columbo episode, “Identity Crisis”, but closed and gutted at the time of filming this), and the Wiltern Theater, a then newly-restored and since rather neglected Art Deco masterpiece.

Across this unusual discourse of location settings is thrown a tale of the Apocalypse; its culmination is just about the only “slo-mo” shot I’ve ever seen that was successful, with the grandeur of it somehow complemented by its distortion. Jack O’Halloran riding the merry-go-round is an image borrowed from Picasso’s Blue Period.