The shots of the atrocious, white-eyed, gray-faced ghoul screaming insanely as it lumbers across rotting moors with a dead woman in its hand is as chilling as anything Hammer has ever filmed, up there and perhaps even more striking than the shots of Christopher Lee’s cadaverous creature stumbling across the bleak country forest in Curse of Frankenstein. Likewise, the scene of the zombies besieging Dr. Thompson in the cemetery is incredible.
Ho hum, the mummy again. That wouldn’t normally be my reaction, as I’m rather a fan of mummies and the havoc they wreak upon the living, but this entry into the Hammer compendium of vengeful Egyptian crypt guardians manages to do very little beyond eliciting a yawn. The Mummy’s Shroud’s problems are several, and not…
England’s Hammer Films had the misfortune of releasing their nicely decorated but somewhat tepid science fiction romp Moon Zero Two in the wake of 1968’s two big genre-changing films, and as a result, Hammer’s effort comes out looking decidedly small-scale and quaint. Perhaps even more crushing, Hammer released their breezy little moon adventure movie in 1969 and wound up competing directly with the actual Apollo moon landing.
Paul investigates and discovers that all of them were clients of Christine. There’s also the body of a poor sewer man with no dialogue other than “Aarrgghh,” played Michael Ripper.
The Pirates of Blood River is still a solid adventure tale, with plenty of action, a dependable cast, and a look that fools you into thinking this is a much higher budget film than it actually is. It’s nice to see these old Hammer swashbucklers getting some attention.
Even though it never really becomes a swashbuckling adventure (although Peter Cushing does get to swing from a chandelier) or a horror film, Hinds exploits the trappings of both genres to create a thrilling hybrid driven by strong characters and solid British acting.
Despite the weak ending, Taste the Blood is an exceptional entry into Hammer’s Dracula oeuvre. Even Christopher Lee grudgingly admits that it turned out to be a good film, though to this day he won’t stop going on about how corny the title is.