The Creeping Flesh (1973)

Article 4410 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 1-2-2014
Directed by Freddie Francis
Featuring Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Lorna Heilbron
Country: UK
What it is: Horror hodgepodge

A Victorian scientist arrives in England with a skeleton from New Guinea that could revolutionize the theory of evolution. Further research convinces him that the skeleton is pure evil, and he uses it to create an inoculation against evil, which he gives to his daughter before it has been fully tested. Tragedy ensues.

Quite frankly, this is a weird one. But then, that’s also what makes it an interesting one. It certainly doesn’t summarize easily; if I were to describe it, it reminds me of a mad scientist version of HORROR EXPRESS with touches of DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE and THE SKULL as well as THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI and a twist that you’d expect from E.C. Comics. I really don’t buy the central premise of “evil” being a scientifically-defined quality, and the plot really does rely on a massive series of coincidences, yet the ending of the movie is one of those which nullifies any criticisms of plot absurdities. So perhaps the best way to deal with this movie is to roll with the story as it unfolds, and since the movie features two mad scientists, several lunatics, skeletons in the closet, a skeleton in the lab, and a large hooded monster capable of regeneration, there’s plenty to keep you occupied. Though I can’t quite call it great, it certainly is not a bore, and that’s something.

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