THE CREEPING FLESH
The Creeping Flesh is an intriguing film, although one that fails to fully work. However, its failure is one that comes by that rare means that of taking on an overly ambitious plot. The first half builds a fabulous atmosphere of Victorian scientific discovery, creating a canny distillation of Victorianas dual obsessions with palaeontology and psychology. It is not unakin to another overly ambitious Victorian psychology effort of the same time, Hammers Demons of the Mind (1972).
From a good beginning, The Creeping Flesh quickly travels downhill, breaking up into too many loose subplots involving an escaped prisoner and family madness. These subplots are irksome in that their ultimate revelations are entirely incidental to the rest of the story. The ending, despite a neat sardonic twist, is left hanging with the monster still roaming out there. It feels like there should have been another entire act to the film where the scientists confront and defeat the creature. The ending is the point that most other horror films would begin whereas the film here is left hanging, seeming to cry out for some type of resolution.
Certainly, the other two staples of the Anglo-Horror genre Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing hold up well. Christopher Lee sports a suspiciously fake beard and set of eyebrows, while Peter Cushing is particularly impressive in a performance of frail, decaying mental stability, delivering one of his best performances.
Freddie Franciss other genre films are:- Vengeance/The Brain (1962), Paranoiac (1962), Nightmare (1963), Dr Terrors House of Horrors (1964), The Evil of Frankenstein (1964), Hysteria (1965), The Skull (1965), The Psychopath (1966), The Deadly Bees (1967), They Came from Beyond Space (1967), Torture Garden (1967), Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968), Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny & Girly (1969), Trog (1970), The Vampire Happening (1971), Tales from the Crypt (1972), Tales That Witness Madness (1972), Craze (1973), Legend of the Werewolf (1974), Son of Dracula (1974), The Ghoul (1975), The Doctor and the Devils (1985) and Dark Tower (1987).