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The promotion announced that this film was released in "Hypnovision" which gives an idea of the story. A frustrated thriller writer wants accurate crimes for his next book so he hypnotises his assistant to make him commit the required crimes. Written by
Steve Crook <firstname.lastname@example.org>
It's a shame, really: with a delightfully lurid and catchy title such as "Horrors of the Black Museum" and advertising that hyped a special "Hypno-Vista" process, this could and should have been more fun. It's reasonably amusing, but its good moments are spread pretty far apart amid a lot of talk and a slow pace (even so, the movie only runs 79 minutes long).
Fiendish murders are plaguing the city of London, and prominent crime expert / journalist Edmond Bancroft (Michael Gough) just loves it to write about it. He definitely has a flair for the sensational. This sets him at odds with the weary Scotland Yard detectives investigating the case, including Superintendent Graham (Geoffrey Keen, whom one may recognize from his appearances in several James Bond franchise entries) and Inspector Lodge (John Warwick).
The movie can boast a couple of nifty gadgets: binoculars that shoot needles into unwary eyes, a pair of ice tongs, and a miniature guillotine. The title derives from the collection kept by the Yard of hideous murder implements; Bancroft also maintains an impressive collection of his own.
Helping to make this little horror film palatable are gorgeous CinemaScope photography and an excellent cast also including June Cunningham as Bancrofts' fed-up girlfriend, Graham Curnow as his loyal assistant Rick, the lovely Shirley Anne Field as Ricks' gal pal Angela, Beatrice Varley as shop keeper Aggie, and Austin Trevor as Commissioner Wayne. But Gough, not surprisingly, thoroughly dominates the proceedings with a delicious hammy performance. One could never accuse Gough of not giving a role 100% percent, and he doesn't disappoint here.
Overall, this is a mild diversion and no more.
Six out of 10.
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