THE CREEPING FLESH – The Dungeon Review!

creeping flesh dvd cover“A terrifying journey through the nightmare worlds of evil, insanity and terrible revenge.”

I am a big fan of both Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. They have done numerous films together, many of them for Hammer Productions. I haven’t missed many of these collaborations but ‘The Creeping Flesh’ was one I had not seen. This one was made by another UK film company called Tigon. Lee and Cushing are in top form here and their performances alone make the film a classic worth watching.

A scientist arrives from New Guinea with an ancient skeleton he believes can aid him in his research. He learns that water renews flesh to the bone of the creature and develops a serum from the blood. His hope is to cure evil. The inspiration from which he derived from his wives commitment to a mental hospital several years previous. A truth he has kept secret from his daughter, who believed her mother died when she was young. When she finds out the truth about her mother, his worst fears are realized and she begins to duplicate his wife’s behavior. In response, he injects the untested serum with horrific results.
peter cushing creeping flesh still
The performances are definitely the highlight of ‘The Creeping Flesh’. Cushing’s anxious, determined, yet frail and empathetic character is very effective. He is nicely complimented by the strong performance of Lorna Heilbron, who plays the sweet and innocent daughter who descends into madness and Christopher Lee who plays the stern and cold as ice relative who runs the local mental asylum. The Victorian sets and costumes are a visual treat. Gore is pretty much non-existent as it tends to be in films of this ilk, but there are some very impressive effects, particularly the skeletal remains from New Guinea. The renewing of skin to the creatures bones is done quite well. ‘The Creeping Flesh’ has an intriguing story, but it is also the films crutch. In addition to what is mentioned in the plot summary, there is an interesting subplot involving Lee’s character who is conducting experiments of his own, and has a great deal of unexplained animosity towards Cushing’s character. Although the two are on different paths their research is looking for the same conclusions. The creature also has its part in it all, beyond the lending of its blood. In the end, the story comes together, and there is a great twist ending that I loved. But the story is a bit overambitious, and tackles too many issues and leaves some loose ends still dangling. By no means will this detail hurt your enjoyment of this film. ‘The Creeping Flesh’ is definitely entertaining and the excellent performances make it well worth a look. Recommended!

Dungeon Rating: 3.5/5

Directed By: Freddie Francis

Starring: Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Lorna Heilbron, George Benson, Kenneth J. Warren and Jenny Runacre

For the next two weeks I will be reviewing ONLY foreign Horror Films! Have a great weekend!

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