A man and wife are terrorized by Mad Scientist Dr. Callistratus who was executed but has returned to life with a heart transplant. Along with his crippled assistant Carl, the 'anemic' Mad ... See full summary »
Edinburgh surgeon Dr. Robert Knox requires cadavers for his research into the functioning of the human body; local ne'er-do-wells Burke and Hare find ways to provide him with fresh ... See full summary »
A young model and her petty thief boyfriend find their way through the English fog to a backwoods manor in hopes of looting it. What they find instead is murder, and when the model attempts... See full summary »
José Ramón Larraz
A Victorian-age scientist returns to London with his paleontological bag-of-bones discovery from Papua New Guinea. Unfortunately, when exposed to water, flesh returns to the bones ... See full summary »
Strange things are happening in Riverdale, Illinois. A huge, seemingly alien structure has been found jutting out of the earth. Sent to investigate the origin of the mysterious object, ... See full summary »
Alan Jay Factor,
Peter Cushing stars as a former priest who harbors a dark and horrible secret in his attic. The locked room serves as a prison cell for his crazed, cannibalistic adult son, who acquired his... See full summary »
A man and wife are terrorized by Mad Scientist Dr. Callistratus who was executed but has returned to life with a heart transplant. Along with his crippled assistant Carl, the 'anemic' Mad Scientist, believed to be a vampire, conducts blood deficiency research on the inmates of a prison hospital for the criminally insane to sustain his return to life. Written by
Hammer "cash-in" done in great style by US production company
Here's a well-done Hammer-styled "cash-in" of Horror of Dracula, interestingly enough done by a US production company and released by Universal (Universal-International in those days), which of course was the company that did all those great classic horror films that Hammer eventually updated with great success.
It is too bad that this film has been so neglected that it cannot be seen except on worn-out and ridiculously expensive factory VHS tapes that are rare, or on DVD duplicates made off of faded 16mm film prints. I saw this 30 years ago on TV from a good 35mm print and remember that the colors were great, but the recent 16mm dupe I saw was really faded. Still, increase the TV color saturation, and it's way better than nothing at all. (UPDATE: I thought I'd better update this now that a factory DVD has been recently released. No longer do you have to pay way too much to see this.)
The few occasional lapses in logic notwithstanding, this is bound to please any fan of the early Hammer horror films, and Donald Wolfit does a great turn as the doctor who has become a sort of living vampire. Though there are no real supernatural elements, this film tops many others without having to rely upon the fantastic to carry it. A fabulous beginning title sequence is followed by a great scene where the vampire-doctor is revived, with his misshapen servant beside him, and then a large bat flies out from the ceiling rafters. You would swear it was an actual bat, and then wonder how did they get it to do it just right?
As an example of the attention to detail you'll see here: during a conversation between two prisoners, a rat scurries behind one unnoticed and for no other reason than to show that the place is a squalid jail cell. Nobody sees it, yells or stomps on it, or anything you'd expect to happen in another film. It's just there and passes by. Now that's real set design!
10 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?