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.