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Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Gorgon (1964)

Starring Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Barbara Shelley, Richard Pasco, Michael Goodliffe
Directed by Terence Fisher
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

A village is beset by unsolved killings, each involving a corpse somehow turned to stone, perhaps by one of the legendary Gorgon sisters of Greek mythology.

Another horror vehicle from Britain's Hammer Films, this film has a terrific concept, and much talent in front of and behind the camera, but comes up just a little bit short for me.  Rather than try to build a mystery around the Gorgon's identity, the filmmakers point us towards the likeliest suspect and kill off the only red herring fairly early in the film.  While this affords an opportunity to display the internal conflict within the character, which is well done within the actor's performance and as set up in the screenplay, I think more mystery would have better built up to a suspenseful climax.  Still, there's much to love here, from the eerie music from James Bernard, to quality performances from all the cast, to great makeup by Roy Ashton on the victims as they slowly transform to stone.

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