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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Dr. Blood's Coffin (1961) - Horror

Dr. Blood's Coffin (1961) - Peter Blood ( Kieron Moore) was a stellar student at medical school, so much so that he got a five year reseach internship in Vienna. When he pushes the boundaries of medicine too far he is kicked off his research grant and is forced to return home. Early in the movie we are not allowed to see the good doctor, the surprise is being saved for later, Instead we see a small English village where medical supplies and residents are disappearing. Again we see a mysterious lower body and a pair of hands but not the good doctor. So at this point we don't know he lives here and is the son of the local doctor. What I thought was going to be a big surprise was discarded when Peter drives into town like he has not been there for a month. We get to see him flirt with nurse Linda Parker (Hazel Court) and see his father.
It is transparent to the viewer that Peters hands are the same hands as the guy kidnapping people and taking them into the tin mines. So as the town constable talks about searching the mines Peter starts stepping in to protect his illegal experiments. We do not know what those experiments are but we know he is killing people from the village to try to complete them. He first kidnaps the guide for the minds the night before the search, then he takes his place and leads the cop away from his secret rooms in the mind. Unfortunately for Peter things keep going wrong and he has to compound his lies and stack up bodies to stay ahead of the trouble he is on. He is a driven man and as the plot tightens the noose around him we learn the big secret experiments.

With this is also a love story between Peter and beautiful Linda, a widow whose husband died a few months earlier. Peter has to agree to do autopsies on the people he has killed with his poison or at least paralysing them. Then when he is discovered by old friend and undertaker Tregaye (Fred Johnson) mostly because he never locks any doors. In fact the body count would have been significantly lower if he could just stop people from walking in. He was so driven to complete the big secret experiments though and that would be such a hassle. His father after returning from having a syrindge with the poison analyzed at a lab in a different city finds Peter's autopsy reports a bit odd. What else was odd was a comment in the pub where Peter and his father are having a beer and talking. Linda comes over and they ask her if she will join them, in a beer. She says no thank you and then mentions the calories. Peter says something about women worrying too much about their weight. It was out of the blue and had nothing to do with the movie.

Peter is caught again in his experiments this time when Linda walks in. they have an argument about the big secret and it is revealed that we want to create life in a corpse, by transplanting a heart from a living person. REALLY? That is the big secret, you want to reanimate a body while killing a living person. Naturally Linda thinks this is wrong and gets into a religion vs science argument. She takes a desidedly anti science stance and he being the crazy doctor makes science lose for sure. He is a driven man though and takes his latest victim to the mines and completes his experiment by reanimating Linda's dead husband. then he drags her down there and shows her the reanimated rotting corpse of her husband. The zombie creature attacks and Peter and it fight while Linda escapes. They knock over some chemicals and both choke to death. In all Peter killed like 6 people to complete this experiment, but he rationalized it saying they were no bodies and not worth a second thought. WOW! Director Sidney J. Furie early in a career that continues to this day made some odd choices with angle and close up. This one made no sense, written by Nathan Juran and really besides the scenic views of the English coast was a real waste of time. The picture was old and grainy and the music by Buxton Orr was overly dramatic
Rating (2.1) 5.0 and up are recommended Zombiegrrlz rating Skip It!

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