The Creeping Flesh (1973)

June 26, 2011

Evil as a physical disease is the premise of this horror film starring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. Dr. Emmanuel Hildern (Cushing) has returned from New Guinea with a skeleton of a missing link of sorts that he immediately begins experimenting on discovering quite by accident that if the bones are subjected to water the flesh begins to grow back. This flesh as he soon discovers is the essence of evil and his goal is to secure a serum that will cure it forever. The idea is really a good one and if somehow this aspect of the film was expanded upon it could have really gotten top marks. However, it strayed to include a brother (Lee) who runs an asylum and wants to steal the prehistoric skeleton for himself. Also introduced are a daughter and deceased mother with a history of mental illness. To cure the daughter he injects her with his evil fighting serum but the results are negative. It is all tied together in the end with a great twist which took me by surprise and I still ponder the question is he or isn’t he. It was directed by Freddy Francis who was a well known screenplay writer for Hammer Films and was released by Tigon Pictures, a smaller independent company that released five pictures in the 1969-1973 time periods with Creeping Flesh being the last film. The film is available for free viewing on the internet. (**1/2)



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