Monday, 4 June 2018

Winter Chills - Part Two: The Creeping Flesh (1973)

I’ve been left on my own for five-and-a-half weeks...
What to do, what to do?  Well, for a start: I’m going to watch all those horror/fantasy/sci-fi films I’ve always been meaning to get to
… and write about them here!

A Cushing and Lee team up which I hadn’t seen yet!  Neither Hammer nor Amicus, this is Tigon Production’s The Creeping Flesh.
And it almost does what it says on the tin. The giant inhuman skeleton Cushing brings back from New Guinea is not something any sane person would ever want in their house - and it’s much more terrifying than a Gremlin when it comes into contact with water.

Meanwhile Lee plays one of his most genuinely hate-able characters ever - and given his back catalogue that’s really saying something.
There’s a lot of genuinely good stuff here - particularly Freddie Jones’ direction - particularly in a very spooky sequence when the cloaked thing from New Guinea throws a huge Shadow across the house it is implacably approaching. 

The story elements of diagnosing evil as a pathogen, and the creepy ‘Elder gods’ vibe of the fossil’s origins are both fascinating, and either would flesh out (pun intended) a lesser film on their own. Unfortunately, this film doesn’t really capitalise on these strengths and spends far too much of it’s running time pursuing extras pursuing mentally-disturbed supporting characters through the town set.

Unfulfilled potential is always disappointing, but Cushing and Lee are as solidly dependable as ever here, in slightly different roles than we’re used to seeing them in. And we even get a brilliantly set up twist ending…

OK - if even he's scared it must be bad...

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