“You guys are going to die, that’s all — it’s just a question of when.”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Because Talman is indubitably a cold-blooded psychopath with no scruples whatsoever, we’re kept in as much terror and suspense as the two luckless fishing buddies. O’Brien and Lovejoy’s performances are spot-on as well: we can see the wheels turning in their heads as they debate on a moment-to-moment basis what risks they can take (or not) in their perilous situation, as their masculinity and sense of agency are repeatedly debased.
The screenplay — co-written by Lupino and her producer-husband Collier Young, and based on a story by blacklisted author Daniel Mainwaring, who wrote Out of the Past (1948) — is peppered with multiple tension-filled moments for possible violence, as well as various refreshing encounters with respectfully-presented Mexican citizens.
Nick Musuraca’s atmospheric cinematography is a definite highlight as well.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments: