My Gods are Different Than Yours
Directed by Harvey Hart
Starring Leslie Nielsen, Judi Meredith, Mark Richman
Released July 21st, 1965
In 1890 San Francisco, Brett Kingsford (Leslie Nielsen) is a man about town who is known to have a keen interest in the occult. He frequently assists the police in solving crimes (off the record, of course) and is brought in to help with a series of murders after police discover strange artifacts left at the scene of the crimes.
Brett’s pal Robert Vandenberg (Mark Richman) is due to marry Evelyn Lang (Judi Meredith) in a few days, but he confides in Brett that he’s worried he may be unwittingly responsible for the string of murders rocking San Fran. Robert explains that he has been experiencing blackouts, and all the victims shared a connection with him in some way. Brett believes his friend to be innocent and resolves to help his friend, and the police, uncover what could possibly be a supernatural impetus behind the ritualistic killings. Along the way we are treated to Brett donning various disguises, collecting cool looking statues, and even name dropping eldritch Lovecraftian gods Azathoth and Dagon.
Leslie Nielsen was an accomplished dramatic actor long before he became known for his comedic chops, so I imagine at this time in his career he relished playing the flamboyant Brett Kingsford. The character predicts the charm that Robert Downey, Jr. brought to his interpretation of Sherlock Holmes. While the character may be fun to watch, the mystery he uncovers isn’t developed enough to be interesting, and this makes for a film that’s hard to recommend.
Boasting a busy score by Lalo Schifrin and filled to the brim with shadow and smoke, Dark Intruder is not scary by today’s standards, but was apparently too much for NBC at the time. Perhaps it was the scene where Brett is attacked in an antique shop by a clawed ghoul uttering inhuman wails that made executives balk. Intended to be a pilot for a supernatural procedural series titled The Black Cloak, it was eventually edited into a slight hour-long feature and distributed by Universal Pictures in drive-in theaters as a B movie. Had the series been greenlit, perhaps the character of Brett Kingsford would have been as well-known as Kolchak, Constantine, or Fox Mulder.
In addition to the impeccable 2K transfer, the Kino Lorber Blu-ray features theatrical trailers of 1960s horror B movies, an overly kind audio commentary by film historian Gary Gerani, and a short interview with Mike Westmore, Makeup Artist Bud Westmore’s nephew.