Something a little different from the career of Peter Cushing films in that it is much more of a modern day slasher film and less of a fantasy/horror film that we fans love to see him in. The film takes place in swinging London of the late 60’s and to see Peter at a party where young people are dancing wild and probably half stoned is seeing him out of place. He doesn’t fit.
This time out he is a renowned surgeon or perhaps a modern day Baron Frankenstein who is engaged to beautiful model Sue Lloyd who suffers a nasty facial burn from a heat lamp which leads Cushing to search for a way to restore her beauty. Like so many cinema doctors before him, he discovers that glands from freshly murdered women can be used to restore her beauty but only for a limited length of time. With Sue Lloyd solidly pushing him to restore her face no matter how many victims it takes, Cushing practically becomes a modern day Jack the Ripper in his search for young women and their all important pituitary glands. If this plot sounds a little familiar then check out The Corpse Vanishes from 1942 starring our old friend Bela Lugosi.
Directed by Robert Hartford-Davis who also teamed with Cushing on the forgettable Bloodsuckers in 1970 the film features a rather jazzy score which seems a little odd for the genre as well as a somewhat bizarre final 20 minutes towards the final fadeout. Also appearing in the film is Kate O’Mara who Hammer Film fans will recognize having appeared with Cushing in The Vampire Lovers from 1970 which is plenty of fun putting Peter back into a Gothic setting. If it wasn’t for the rather nasty camera work and violence of the scenes where Cushing commits his heinous deeds perhaps I’d like the film a shade better. As it stands it’s just for us fans who need to collect all things Peter Cushing. Question is are you one of them.