Rod Taylor Site banner


Step Down to Terror (1958)

Rod Taylor plays detective Mike Randall in this remake of the 1943 Alfred Hitchcock masterpiece "Shadow of a Doubt."

Charles Drake plays Johnny Walters, a psychotic serial killer who returns to his hometown to visit his mother (Josephine Hutchinson) and widowed sister-in-law Helen (Colleen Miller), both of whom know nothing of his criminal activity during his six-year absence.

Johnny hopes to settle down and start life anew, but Helen becomes suspicious as Johnny's behavior becomes more threatening and Mike Randall pays a visit to the Walters household. Mike pretends to be a reporter, but Helen finds out later that he's a detective investigating whether Johnny Walters is the man wanted for a string of murders.

Mike is called off the case when he's told that the "real killer" was caught and killed on the East Coast. But Helen has discovered he truth, a situation that puts her in grave danger. Failing to talk Helen out of turning him in, Johnny methodically plots her murder. Will Mike -- who has fallen hard for Helen -- show up in the nick of time to save her?

"Step Down to Terror" feels more like a TV movie than a feature film. It's moderately suspenseful and Drake is fairly creepy, but it also moves too slowly and generally lacks the moody atmosphere you might expect of this type of story -- evil visits a vulnerable family in an ordinary town. Taylor is solid in his supporting role, but he unfortunately is given little to do. 






Entire movie at Rarefilmm

Film clip on YouTube

Options to buy on iOffer (unofficial DVDs)