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Sphere Museum is the home for a sleazy and bizarre collection of human freaks, sexy dancing girls and unnatural oddities. Hidden in the dark backstreets of a large metropolis, the sideshow caters to those who are looking for some cheap thrills and lurid entertainment. City Councilman Blair Newgate and Police Commissioner Brandon, both running for mayor, jointly pay a visit to the seedy museum hoping to bust the establishment which is presided over by a sinister professor and his corrupt sidekick. When Newgate is shot dead during the visit, clever newspaperman Jerry Ross and the Police Commissioner's pretty niece Lois join forces to solve the mystery. Hanging in the balance is the life of Commissioner Brandon, who has now become the primary suspect! Murder In The Museum (a.k.a. Five Deadly Vices) is a poverty row Hollywood whodunit that takes aim at the seedier side of life, inspired by the notoriety of Tod Browning's controversial classic Freaks released the year before. With a gritty voyeuristic realism and sleazy side-show atmosphere, Murder In The Museum delivers street-tough dialogue and a downbeat mood reflecting the Depression-era that spawned it. This is one of Melville Shyer's few full directing credits, having enjoyed a long career as one of Hollywood's premiere assistant directors. His work includes such thrillers as Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman, Son Of Dracula and several Sherlock Holmes films. Look for Mexican-born actor and knife-thrower Steve Clemente, who tossed sharp objects in numerous films (including King Kong and Most Dangerous Game) throughout the 30s and 40s.

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ALP4645 Murder in the Museum DVD (1934/Henry Walthall) $5.99