Sunday, October 4, 2009

OTR Review: Inner Sanctum "A Study For Murder"

Series Name: Inner Sanctum Mysteries
Episode Title: A Study For Murder
Original Air Date: 5/3/42
Available On: Relic Radio Thrillers Podcast October 2, 2009
Sound Quality: Fair

Over the course of October Relic Radio is going to be posting numerous Halloween/Horror themed radio shows. Over 30 Halloween themed shows for the discerning OTR lover. Please check out their special site for details:

Every episode of Relic Radio Thrillers in October is going to feature a play starring the ghoulish great, Boris Karloff. We start out with this little gem from Inner Sanctum.

The play opens with Karloff, in the role of Herbert Large, interviewing Sam Edwards, a man moments away from a date with the electric chair. Edwards, in a fit of rage, murdered his wife. Large is a psychiatrist is doing the interview to get material for his new book but it becomes obvious very quickly that Large's obsession goes beyond mere research and that the man is in the thrall of a perverse fascination with murder. He wonders what it is that allows anyone, even the most apparently law-abiding man to murder another human.

Edwards' interview reveals a deep-rooted hatred for all humanity and Edwards is dragged to the electric chair in a fit of sobs. The prison warden has no time for the cold-blooded psychiatrist and turns down his appeal to watch Edwards burn in the electric chair.

Upon arriving home to his wife Margaret we discover the depths of which Large's obsession with murder has taken him. Large has assembled his own "tribe" of underworld associates, and with his gang he hopes to bring himself closer to understanding the essence of murder. His wife pleads with him to give up his research but there's no going back for Herbert.

The story continues to follow the spiraling fate of Herbert Large as he gets himself deeper and deeper inside his obsession. The cast is uniformly excellent here and the script is genuinely creepy in a way that many of these old stories are not. There is a real feeling of perversity in Karloff's morbid performance and it shines especially in comparison to the more empathetic side characters, his wife, the warden and even Whitey his criminal accomplice whose reactions to murder are more human than the draconian psychiatrist.

This is definite 5/5 Golden Masks to me. One of my favorite OTR shows in recent memory, I've listened to it three times so far and still love it.

Our man, the ghoulish Boris Karloff gives a delightfully evil performance as Herbert Large

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