After the Civil War, a 12-year-old orphan played by Albert (the son of actors Eddie Albert and Margo, in his film debut) sets out on a journey and meets a crotchety old farmer. The superbly cast Hull tells the youngster the tale of "the fool killer," an axe-murderer who rids the world of
its fools. The boy continues his adventures until he comes across Perkins, type-cast as a controlled psychotic, who fascinates and befriends Albert. Together they attend a church revival, but the disturbed anti-religious Perkins leaves. Later, the axed body of the preacher is discovered.
Naturally, the boy suspects Perkins, who begins to fit the "fool killer" description. After the...