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The Man who Could Cheat Death

UK 1959
produced by
Michael Carreras, Anthony Nelson-Keys (associate) for Hammer
directed by Terence Fisher
starring Anton Diffring, Hazel Court, Christopher Lee, Arnold Marlé, Delphi Lawrence, Francis De Wolff, Gerda Larsen, Middleton Woods, Michael Ripper, Denis Shaw, Ian Hewitson, Frederick Rawlings, Marie Burke, Charles Lloyd Pack, John Harrison, Lockwood West, Ronald Adam, Barry Shawzin
screenplay by Jimmy Sangster, based on a play by Barré Lyndon, music by Richard Rodney Bennett

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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George Bonnet (Anton Diffring) seems to have everything a man could want, he's a highly respected surgeon and celebrated sculptor, his lovely model Margo (Delphi Lawrence) has fallen head over heels in love with him, his ex Janine (Hazel Court) still loves him and would choose him over her current lover Dr Gerard (Christopher Lee) every day, and even his erstwhile mentor (and idol) professor Weiss (Arnold Marlé) admires him these days. But Bonnet also has a darker side - when he doesn't get his medicine on time, he turns into a murderous green-skinned maniac, and in one such instance he murders Margo.

What's his condition, you might wonder?

Well, he's found the secret of immortality, which lies within certain glands, but after about ten years, these glands turn one into a killer if they're not replaced or treated with his special medicine - but even this medicine only works for a time. Bonnet wants Weiss to help him, but since in Weiss' beliefs immortality is a sin, he outright refuses to do so - and in a fit of rage, Bonnet kills him in cold blood. Then he turns to Gerard for help, but not only because both of them are interested in the same woman, Janine, Gerard refuses ... so Bonnet kidnaps Janine and forces Gerard to replace his glands this way - which Gerard only does to a certain extent: Sure, he cuts up Bonnet and patches him up again, but doesn't replace the glands. Bonnet only finds that out when he's about to free Janine, but is then thrown into a fit of insanity and begs her to become immortal with him - to her great shock. Eventually, he turns into a green monster and dies in his lab burning to cinderes (like every good mad scientist should), but not before Janine has made her escape of course ...

 

Towards the late 1950's and early 1960's, director Terence Fisher made many a classic horror movie - but The Man who Could Cheat Death is not one of them, it's merely a well-staged, well-filmed, well-crafted and well-acted period piece of the horror variety that despite all of its qualities cannot deny the era it was made in and in its rather old-fashioned ways will above all appeal to fans of horror nostalgia, showing good craftsmanship but none of the vision Fisher fueled his classics with. Still, not a bad film, but not a must-see either.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD