Sunday, 9 October 2011

More Dreaded Than Dracula

Another decade, another Francis / Cushing / Lee collaboration. 'The Creeping Flesh' is an interesting little film, bringing together elements from all over the place and giving them a slight twist to create something offbeat and memorable. Mr. Cushing plays Professor Emmanuel Hildern, a sort of general scientist / egghead who returns from a field trip to Papua New Guinea with a massive skeleton. Horribly, when water is spilled onto the bones it begins to regenerate and then gets really nasty.

In a somewhat imagination stretching breakthrough, Cushing discovers that the creatures blood contains viral evil, and that it is a disease, like flu, or herpes, or that made up one when you just feel tired all the time. I'm not sure how science-y this all is, but I know that his next move, to inject his mentally unstable daughter with a mix of good and bad blood to stop her going crazy, is pretty much off the chart in terms of malpractice, and can only end in madness, murder and blood spattered bosoms.

More than a bit different, 'The Creeping Flesh' could have been a minor classic but for its infernally slow pacing. Shame, but well worth the time and effort if you can find it.


  1. My Dad used to take me to a specialist rock/metal record shop every Saturday as part of my pre-school education. On a shelf behind the counter stood the original pre-cert Vampix VHS tape of this film and I stared longingly at it each week.
    I eventually bought the tape from the owner some years later and I'm fondling it obscenely as I write this.

    Great film, and Cushing's terror as the creature tracks him down is infectious.

  2. Would love to see this again. CF doing its bailiff bit to get its finger back was terrifying IIRC.

  3. Yep, good film.

    I like the sound of your Dad, Fearlono. My Dad used to let me stay up to watch things like 'Deliverance' and 'The Man Who Fell To Earth' which I greatly appreciated - my parents were also ridiculously lax about the pre-cert VHS tapes we rented from the Esso garage, bless 'em.