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...
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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 savage tastes in India during his father's missionary work there. Cushing fears that his son will escape to prey upon the effete guests at his rural English estate during a cross-country auto race. Written by
"The Ghoul" was produced by Tyburn Films - one of the British Horror Companies that spurted up in response to Hammer Studio's worldwide Gothic horror movie success. This one should be of immediate interest to anyone who likes those films as it stars Hammer veteran Peter Cushing, Hammer starlet Veronica Carlson and is written and directed by Hammer stalwarts Anthony Hinds and Freddie Francis.
Ghoul begins at a roaring 1920's party where four bored guests decide to go drag racing and wind up at a strange mansion in the forest where a former priest (Cushing) resides with his creepy Indian housekeeper (brilliantly portrayed by Gwen Watford), and sadistic groundskeeper (a very early role by John Hurt). Now, I'm sure some of you may be raising your eyebrow and thinking "that tired story again?" - but as anyone who likes these kinds of movies knows, its all about the execution and this one's got it nailed down perfectly.
There are some gory surprises, nice Gothic stylings, and excellent performances nestled inside of this very vague, very familiar story. Alexandra Bastedo, is particularly wonderful as one of the feisty teenagers, ethereally beautiful Carlson is always a joy to watch and Cushing gives one of his finest turns ever here. Anyone who likes Hammer movies or Gothic horror in general would be well-advised in seeking out this lost treasure that for some reason, in spite of its stellar cast and production crew, has escaped a genuine DVD release in any country.
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