Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Creeping Flesh (1973)

Starring Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Lorna Heilbron, George Benson, Kenneth J. Warren
Directed by Freddie Francis
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

In the 19th century, a scientist brings back a gigantic skeleton from New Guinea, which he discovers possesses "evil" cells, and can regrow flesh on its bones when exposed to water.

Another of the many teamings of British horror icons Cushing and Lee, this time playing brothers without much love for each other, and Cushing in particular is wonderful as an excitable man of science whose decisions regarding his daughter ultimately lead her down a dark path.  Lee has his own sinister agenda, which at times seems a bit fantastic, with a Frankenstein-like laboratory hidden within the walls of the asylum he runs.  Freddie Francis in this picture may have delivered one of his finest pieces of direction after a distinguished run as a top-flight cinematographer, including a very taut sequence as Cushing tests the "blood" of the skeleton's reconstituted flesh, and a gripping climax where the monster of the film stalks Cushing for the return of a necessary item.  There's sumptuous color used throughout, and fans of the "titans of terror" will find much to relish in this quality horror film.

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