Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Doctor Blood's Coffin (1961)

... aka: Dr. Blood's Coffin

Directed by:
Sidney J. Furie

Dr. Peter Blood (Kieron Moore), recently dejected from medical school for performing questionable experiments, shows up in a small Cornish village shortly after the death of his father (Ian Hunter) to carry on with the old man's experiments. Maddened by his ambition and arrogance, Peter paralyzes unwilling victims with curare (African arrow poison) until their still-beating hearts can be removed and transplanted into other bodies. Will his new widowed nurse girlfriend Linda Parker (Hazel Court, as always, a strong female lead) catch on before it's too late? Saddled with a low-budget and a very implausible plot, and pretty minor compared to some concurrent Corman and Hammer films, this still has good performances from the entire cast (also including Kenneth J. Warren as the village police sergeant and Gerald Lawson as a coroner), decent horror atmosphere, competent art direction, some nice location filming (it was made in and around a beautiful coastal village) and a decent surprise ending. It's also bloodier than most other films from this time period. So while not a particularly noteworthy film, it's put together with enough care and thought to be worth watching.


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