The Bye Bye Man
The Bye Bye Man is the kind of film that is so boring and bereft of anything of possible interest that it becomes infuriating.
"Ice Station Zebra" is a movie so flat and conventional that its three moments of interest are an embarrassment. If this had been a routine Saturday-afternoon thriller, it might have been fun. But it's been stretched out to roadshow length and loaded down with lots of gimmicks to conceal the thinness of the story.
At least I guess the story is thin. It might have been complex, and then they edited it down. That would account for the fact that the plot doesn't hold together; we're never exactly sure who the Russian spy is, or whether there are two. We discover that someone jammed a torpedo tube open and nearly sank the sub -- but we never discover who. We're told that a nuclear submarine moves from Scotland to the North Pole in three days. But how?
The sub has been dispatched to the Arctic Circle to recover a piece of film from a Russian spy satellite. The Russians are also coming, but their planes are locked in by an ice storm. The sub gets there first. On board is at least one spy who wants to end the mission. Maybe more. Who knows?
Rock Hudson plays the sub commander, and he is given some fairly good lines in Douglas Heyes' script. He also has a couple of quick exchanges with Patrick McGoohan, who plays a James Bond type. But the result of these lines and these exchanges is simply to underline what a wooden and emotionless actor Hudson is. We never for a moment care about him, or believe him.