We move finely to Hammer Horror on Day 10 of Shocktober; the first colour horror film for the company and a huge success on release. It shows blood and ‘gore’ and is a masterpiece for horror lovers. You can’t beat closing the curtains and turning the lights off on a dark autumn/winter night to an old Hammer movie – it’s atmospheric and features the wonderful Peter Cushing as Victor Frankenstein and Christopher Lee as the Creature.
It is loosely based on Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel and all of the ‘usual’ Frankenstein story basics are present; bubbling, smoking potions in Victor Frankenstein’s lab, the body parts cultivation for the Creature, the damsel/s in distress, the Creature in the woods taking innocent life, etc… What brings it to life (ha ha) is the performance by Cushing; one of the iconic horror actors, he brings a tone and class of acting which demand attention. You can’t keep your eyes off him.
Lee’s Creature is not the one most people think of – the Creature with the large forehead and bolts through his neck, that’s Boris Karloff. Lee’s is more gross and does look like he’s rotting; in one scene he gets shot graphically through the eye. He also gets a new brain so we see his head after he’s had it stitched back on. This movie was graphic for its time and there’s still some real shock moments, especially when Frankenstein locks his maid into the lab with the Creature; she claims she is having his child and he wants to get rid of her and the baby. We hear her screams. Nasty.
If you’re after a proper vintage horror classic for this Halloween, look no further. It’s an expert film of the horror genre.
GORE RATING: 3/5
Watch it for: Peter Cushing. Peter Cushing rocks
Watch out for: The poor maid didn’t deserve that
Next up…Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)