Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Avoid Her Stare, Her Gaze is Poison

Known for his Dracula and Frankenstein movies, Terence Fisher also directed other Hammer Studios movies. One of those was The Gorgon (1964), set in 1800s Germany-the 1800s usually being the setting for most of Hammer Studios' movies. Despite starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, this movie is a tad dull, and isn't as good as it could have been. Not only is the Gorgon introduced way too late, but the movie really moves too slow to build up any sense of dread or atmosphere.

Those two crucial elements were not missing in the Horror of Dracula or Curse of Frankenstein, although its not fair to compare this movie to those two classics. Still Cushing, and Lee in a smaller role elevate this movie to decent status, and the overall mystery is not too bad. The woman at the center of all this, who happens to be Cushing's assistant, is at least easy on the eyes. Hammer Studios films, considering they were filmed in 1950s and 1960s Britain, never really featured strong female characters.

Really a few entertaining scenes aside, this movie only becomes particularly interesting near the end. This type of story would have worked better in a much shorter form, or perhaps as just an episode of some horror/fantasy TV show. Too bad, since the myth of the Gorgon is actually quite fascinating.

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