The further Barrett digs into these patients' psyche, searching for lucid moments that might yield clues about the unsolved murder, the further he becomes lost in the character he created. Peter Breck does an excellent job of portraying a character-within-a-character, allowing the audience to fully accept Barrett's gradually disintegrating mentality. There are moments in Shock Corridor that verge on all out camp, simply because the envelope is being pushed so far. But the conviction in Fuller's presentation is so strong that the film maintains its fever dream spell throughout.
Criterion has included The Typewriter, the Rifle and the Movie Camera, a nearly hour-long 1996 documentary about Samuel Fuller's career, as a supplemental feature. This excellent look at the maverick filmmaker's career benefits from appearances by Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Jim Jarmusch, and other filmmakers. They discuss how Fuller's films have influenced their own filmmaking careers. Also included is a nearly half-hour interview with Shock Corridor's female lead, Constance Towers. She talks at great length about her experiences making the film. Rounding out Criterion's excellent reissue are the film's original theatrical trailer and a pair of informative essays printed in the DVD booklet.