Charles “Butcher” Benton (Lon Chaney Jr.) is executed in the electric chair at San Quentin, cursing the three men who double-crossed him following a payroll hold-up on an armoured car – “Squeamy” Ellis (Marvin Press), Joe Marcelli (Ken Terrell) and Paul Lowe (Ross Elliott), the mastermind of the gang (and also his sleazy attorney).
He vows to return and kill them and dies without revealing the location of the stolen $600,000.
Detective Dick Chasen (Max Showalter, billed here as Casey Adams) is determined to keep working on the case until the stolen loot is recovered. Lt Chasen narrates the whole film, Dragnet style.
Meanwhile, Professor Bradshaw (Robert Shayne) and his assistant (Joe Flynn) pay off the morgue attendant at the prison to take Benton’s body for experimentation (they are using electricity as a potential cure for cancer).
They unexpectedly restore him to life – albeit with no voice – and, in the process, endow him with superhuman strength and a new molecular structure that makes him practically indestructible.
Benton escapes and goes after the three men and – impervious to police bullets – despatches everybody who stands in his way. He kills Ellis and Marcelli while Lowe seeks police protection.
Benton then takes to the sewers to recover the hidden loot, with the police powerless to stop him.
The budget was obviously low, and the production values are virtually non-existent, but Chaney is genuinely frightening, and the storyline works well as a thriller. It’s a nice slice of 1950s cinematic cheese.
Charles “Butcher” Benton
Lon Chaney Jr.
Lt. Dick Chasen
Max Showalter (as Casey Adams)
Capt. John Lauder
Hysterical Young Woman