Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Gorgon (1964)

Director: Terence Fisher

Starring: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Barbara Shelley, Richard Pasco, Michael Goodliffe, Patrick Troughton

More info: IMDb

Tagline: A Monster With the Power to Turn Living Screaming Flesh Into Stone!

Plot: In the early 20th century, a Gorgon takes human form and terrorizes a small European village by turning its citizens to stone.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? Eh, maybe.

#23 on Hammer Horror (1957-1976)

From the opening notes I instantly knew it was scored by James Bernard. His music for Hammer is iconic and it helped define that studio as a master of horror. Then when Terence Fisher's name came up (and let's not forget Cushing and Lee) I was all set for a great Gothic thrill ride. Psych!

I'm not one that needs an abundance of monster action but THE GORGON has very little of what the title suggests and that just makes me sad. Like a lot of Hammer horror flicks the run time is right at or less than 90 minutes and that was a good thing. But sub-90 minutes of teasing and talking about the Gorgon gets old and disappointing. I'd just like another collective 5 minutes or so of the Gorgon creature thrills, that's all.

Let me put it like this. Let's say you go see a movie called, BIG OLE TITTIES, because it's called BIG OLE TITTIES and they just talk and talk and talk about how how these big ole titties turn men to stone if they look at them.

Halfway into the picture you see said big ole titties in a reflection from a pool of water or in the murky darkness. Peter Cushing doesn't want to believe that these big ole titties are terrorizing the forest surrounding the village because, in doing so, maybe the big ole titties will go away. Then you've got Christopher Lee shows up demanding that someone do something about these big ole titties and hunt down and destroy them (sad, isn't it, that someone would want to snuff out big ole titties?). The end result is that Cushing gazes upon the big ole titties and turns to stone and Lee hacks them off with a sword, sending the big ole titties tumbling down a wide mouth staircase.

The only problem is, the big ole titties get about 2 minutes of total screen time over the course of 83 minutes. Not a good ratio, is it? You want more big ole titties in a movie called BIG OLE TITTIES, don't you? I thought so. Your Honor, I rest my case.

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