Sunday, 9 May 2021

The Silent Scream

Wyrd Britain The Silent Scream from Hammer House of Horror starring Peter Cushing
The seventh episode of Hammer Studio's and ITC's 1980 television series 'Hammer House of Horror' sees a newly released convict with the action movie name of Chuck Spillers (Brian Cox) taking a job with the man who had visited him in prison, Martin Blueck (Peter Cushing).  The job entails helping him look after the wild big cats in his basement zoo that he's using in his experiments to create a prison with no bars.  Unfortunately, temptation soon proves too much for Spillers and Blueck's true nature and plans are revealed.

Wyrd Britain The Silent Scream from Hammer House of Horror starring Peter Cushing
Cushing, in his last role for Hammer, is, of course, as brilliant as ever and plays both aspects of Blueck's nature - the facade of banality that conceals the psychopathy underneath - to perfection whilst Cox is perfectly cast opposite him as the incorrigible and fairly hapless jailbird and as an actor of note in his own right able to hold his own aganst the Hammer legend in full flight.  Being more of a psychological thriller than the outright horror that either the venerable studio or the lead actor is famed for it's great fun to see, even at this late stage, their take on something different and as such it's always been one of my favourite episodes from the series.

Buy it here - UK /  US 



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Sunday, 2 May 2021

The Creeping Flesh

Wyrd Britain reviews The Creeping Flesh starring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.
Professor Emmanuel Hildern (Peter Cushing) returns from an expedition to New Guinea with the skeleton of a mythological evil giant that he soon discovers can be revived through contact with water.  Having being denied further funding by his asylum running half-brother Dr James Hildern (Christopher Lee) he begins to rush his experiments to use the skeleton to immunise the world from evil injecting his serum firstly into his lab monkey and, soon after, into his daughter Penelope (Lorna Heilbron).  Needless to say things soon start to deteriorate for all involved as several storylines begin to converge leading to a grim but pleasingly ambivalent ending.

Here, director Freddie Francis has perhaps made a movie with slightly too many loose ends for them all to be successfully and fully explored in the time given but in the tradition of a number of other Tigon movies ('The Blood on Satan's Claw' & 'Witchfinder General') it's ambitions are to be celebrated and with Francis' cinematographer's eye it looks lovely.


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If you enjoy what we do here on Wyrd Britain and would like to help us continue then we would very much welcome a donation towards keeping the blog going - paypal.me/wyrdbritain

Affiliate links are provided for your convenience and to help mitigate running costs.