The Creeping Flesh

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Emmanuel Hildern (Peter Cushing) has made a most remarkable discovery, a human skeleton which predates Neanderthals by three million years. But the skull has a larger brain cavity, which leads Hildern to some conclusions. As he washes down the skeleton, he notices that some flesh has started to regenerate. This pushes him to believe that these remains are pure evil, the kind that even the most nefarious of men couldn’t equal. Hildern also believes that evil is not a personality trait, but a disease that could be treated. He has experimented before to find a cure, but now he is certain that said cure is within his grasp. The blood from his discovered remains is his main focus, as he thinks this blood could purify the evil within mankind. If so, he would be able to cure that evil and in the process, make the world a better place for everyone. His drive is a personal one however, as his own wife was taken by madness. His daughter now seems to be next, so he injects her with the blood, even before his tests can be completed. The plan backfires though, instead of a normal person, she turns into a cold blooded killer with no remorse. She is soon taken to an institution, one run by Emmanuel’s half brother James (Christopher Lee). But when James tries to use the skeleton for his own means, a powerful evil is released…

I’ll watch any movie with Christopher Lee or Peter Cushing, so a movie with both is a natural choice for my collection. As good as these horror cinema icons can be, even legends can be in bad movies. The Creeping Flesh is not a bad movie however, more like a hidden installment in the careers of these two genre masters. In other words, even fans might not have seen this picture, but thanks to Columbia, it should find an audience now. I wouldn’t rank The Creeping Flesh as a lost gem, but it has some cool moments and is worth a look. Lee (Taste the Blood of Dracula, The Wicker Man) is his usual self, with a dark and menacing performance, while Cushing (Twins of Evil, The Blood Beast Terror) is also on his game, so fans should be satisfied. I also love the premise of this movie, which involves curing evil through mad science. I do think the concept could have been better explored, but all in all, The Creeping Flesh is solid fun. But don’t expect gore or over the top violence, as this is more of an atmospheric piece, one that lets the stars run the show. Yes, the movie drags in places and could use some bloodshed, but in the end, it was good to see this picture again. Columbia’s disc is bare bones, but at least the movie is in widescreen. So if you’re a genre buff, The Creeping Flesh is worth a look.

Video: How does it look?

The Creeping Flesh is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. This is a solid, but flawed visual presentation that should please fans, though some cleanup work would have been appreciated. The print has some nicks at times, as well as grain in a number of scenes, though never to an extreme level. I found colors to be a tad faded, but still bright enough and flesh tones were natural on the whole. I saw no troubles in terms of contrast either, as black levels seem well balanced and no detail loss is visible. Aside from some expected tolls of time, this is a solid treatment and it should satisfy fans.

Audio: How does it sound?

The included audio track is not too memorable, but it provides the needed elements and has no overwhelming flaws to report. The years haven’t battered up the materials too much, as no real hiss, harshness, or distortion is noted, which is excellent news. A handful or so of minor age related flaws do surface, but they just that and as such, pose no serious threats. All the eerie sound effects stream through at full force, while the dialogue is crisp and smooth at all times, no volume troubles in the least. This disc also includes English and Japanese subtitles, just in case you might run into the need for those.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes no bonus materials.

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