While volumes have been rightfully inked on the life, times and music of Johnny
Ca$H what has been written on his cinematic legacy is scant. Then again so was
his film career so this makes perfect sense, right?
Well, back in 1961 Johnny was in a pretty cool, trashy flick called "Five Minutes To Live" AKA "Door To Door Maniac." This AIP (bow to the east & pray heathens) movie was originally issued in 1961 as "F.M.T.L" then re-issued in 1966 as the title it's best known as today "D.T.D.M." Keeping that in mind, here's my take on this little known bizarro world gem:
The internationally unknown genius that directed this here movie, Bill Karn is a stylistic melange of Ed Wood (you can actually see sets wobble in scenes here if you watch closely),K.Gordon Murray and Ron Ormond. Call him a hack or violent visionary, whatever you call him this movie works.
Somewhat of a re-write of the classic Bogart vehicle "The Desperate Hours" with Johnny Cash taking Bogie's role as a hostage taking psychotic gangster. The first we see of JC on screen is him gunning down a cop with a submachine gun, wicked grin on his face and an amphetamine glazed look in his eyes. But, I'm getting way ahead of myself here.
Told in flashback Film Noir style by gangster Fred Derilla (Vic Tayback) this film is about a botched robbery/ransom plot gone awry. Derilla arrives at a local bank with the plan to get some loot ($70,000?!?) out of the bank prez (Donald Woods of "13 Ghosts" infamy) while Johnny Cabot (Cash) and his cohorts (including the C&W guitar legend Merle Travis!!!) hold hostage the wife of the said prez.
Twist here being that the Prez don't really give a shit about wifey as he is going to split and go to Vegas with his mistress. Derilla gives him 5 minutes to hand over the loot or else back at house JC is gonna kill his wife. Once the banker sees he is serious about offing the little lady he pleads for more time. Derilla gives him five more minutes or ELSE!