This blog is a place for Me to review classic British films (in particular horror films) by Hammer, Amicus and the like. But I will occasionally branch out and review international films as these are the international counterpart to the British films, some of which will include works by American International Pictures, Mario Bava et al. I hope you enjoy!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

The Gorgon


The village of Vandorf has a secret. A secret so terrifying that the locals live their lives in fear. After every full moon victims are found dead, but their deaths aren't caused by normal circumstances, their death's are due to being turned to stone.

The Gorgon is a 1964 Hammer production. It stars Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and Richard Pasco. It was directed by Terence Fisher..

As if a film starring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, and directed by Terence Fisher wasn't good enough, there's also PATRICK TROUGHTON added to the formula too!

A young couple were killed at the start, when their bodies were found the woman had been turned to stone and her fiancée Bruno was found hanging from a tree. But at the court case the witnesses fictionalised the facts stating that her cause of death was due to being beaten to death. Their summary is that her fiancée killed her. But Bruno's father was in the court room too, and when he stood up he stated that all he had heard was lies, lies formulated from fear. But what do they fear? So Bruno's father goes about investigating just what it is that is giving these locals the willies.

Legend has it there were three gorgons. Two of them were killed but one of them (Megaera) escaped and fled to these parts near Vandorf. Could it possibly be the last remaining gorgon that has been killing people for the last five years? (Of course it is, it's in the bloody title.)

You sly gorgon bitch! She tempted Bruno's father out of his house with her beautiful singing he walked to her ruined castle and BAM she turned him to stone. It's pretty cool actually, he doesn't instantly turn to stone, he slowly changes so we see him all grey looking but still alive barely able to move. He managed to get back to his house and write a letter for his other son (Paul) who would be arriving the next day so that he can inform him of the gorgon.

“The correct term is Gorgonised which means literally turned to stone.” I don't know what it is but I love that word, it sounds so funny and just makes me laugh. Ha, Gorgonised. I can imagine it being used in a prank TV show “You've just been Gorgonised.”

Paul is rather bloody lucky, he saw the gorgon THREE times in the space of about a minute and managed to survive. This is because he saw the gorgon as a reflection, twice in water and once in glass. Well, he's maybe not that lucky, it did knock him into a coma for five days and turned his hair grey. But at least he didn't die a slow and painful turning to stone death. And on the plus side he awoke in hospital to be greeted by Nurse Carla where they then sort of fall in love.

The locals fear the gorgon and want to get rid of it yet when someone comes along with knowledge of the gorgon and also wants to destroy it they still won't admit it's existence. Why not just admit it and work together? You'll get rid of the gorgon a lot quicker. Think about it, it makes sense. But no they continue to ignore it.

YEY! Paul's professor (Christopher Lee) has come to Vandorf to lend a hand.

Megaera died a long time ago, but her spirit lives on. It's the spirit of Megaera that is terrorising the village of Vandorf. Her spirit has took control of someone and Professor Meister thinks it is Carla as she suffers from amnesia. During the cycle of the full moon is when Megaera's strength is at it's best so Carla will not be able to control her actions. All this is Professort Meister's theory, could it be true?

Oh no! Cushing's Dr Namaroff tried to behead Megaera. He got close to her by shielding his eyes with his arm but at the last moment just as he was about to take a swing at her he removed his arm and looked straight in her eyes. Silly Namaroff, now you're turning to stone. Cushing's gorgonised face is classic.

Professor Meister snook up behind Megaera with a sword as she was trying to make Paul look her in the eyes. But he looked just before Meister sliced her head off. As Paul began to turn to stone Megaera's severed head transformed back into Carla's [GASP] Meister was right! Meister says to Paul “She's free now.” then Paul dies.

All in all, it's ok. I was actually disappointed. For a film starring Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Patrick Troughton, Barabara Shelley, directed by Terence Fisher and about a woman with snakes for hair that turns people to stone, it was disappointingly boring at times. Don't get me wrong it has it's good moments, the ending especially. I absolutely loved the ending, the sword fight between Namaroff and Paul (even if it was obviously two stuntmen at times) then the final confrontation with Megaera, that was absolutely brilliant. But a lot of what came before it seemed to be a bit boring. The atmosphere and set pieces were, as ever with Hammer, great. Overall, it's an average Hammer Horror. I personally was disappointed for the most part of the film but again the ending was great, it ended the film brilliantly.

The Gorgon 3/5

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