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The Gorgon

5 Ratings: 3.4
A movie

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia   Jump to: navigation, search The Gorgon    Theatrical release poster Directed by Terence Fisher Produced by Anthony Nelson Keys Written by John Gilling Starring Peter Cushing   Christopher … see full wiki

Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi, Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Release Date: February 17, 1965
MPAA Rating: Unrated
1 review about The Gorgon

Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and a woman whose hair hisses. Not bad for a Transylvanian village

  • Mar 16, 2011
  • by
Rating:
+3
Rumor has it that The Gorgon started out with a fascinating premise: An American scientist, determined to find the answer to osteoporosis, force-feeds residents of a Los Angeles retirement home massive quantities of calcium the way French farmers force-feed corn mash to geese. To the scientist's frustration, the residents turn to stone before he can properly record his experiments. Instead of the Nobel Award for medicine, late one stormy night he receives a lethal injection at a state prison while screaming that his intentions were misunderstood.
 
When financing fell through because the idea was considered too creative, the producers kept the cast and the plaster statues of men and women and hurriedly rewrote the screenplay to appeal to a wider audience. Now, deep in Transylvania in the village of Vandorf, near the forbidding Castle Borski, villagers still turn to stone. The instruments of terror, however, are not a large jar of pink Tums and a funnel, but the hideous Magera, the dreaded gorgon with hair like writhing snakes and a gaze that can petrify those unwise enough to look upon her.
 
When Professor Jules Heitz's son, an artist staying in the village, is found hanging from a tree branch, the professor arrives to clear the boy's name. His son had been accused of killing a village lass whose autopsy was made difficult because...well, she'd hardened. It's not long before Professor Heitz is hardened, too, but not before he'd sent a telegram to Professor Karl Meister (Christopher Lee) at Leipzig University asking for help. Soon, Professor Heitz's remaining son, Paul, is in Vandorf. All does not go well. When at last Meister himself arrives and meets the intense and obviously conflicted Dr. Namaroff (Peter Cushing), we know secrets will be discovered and terror faced with courage. Science will learn there's more to life than we can imagine...in heaven or in hell.
 
The Gorgon is filled with lush color, creepy sets and the kind of straight-faced acting that so many fine British actors with precise enunciation can bring to nonsense. Among the great enunciators in this movie, in addition to Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, is Barbara Shelley who plays Carla Hoffman, Dr. Namaroff's assistant. Carla, like the actress who portrays her, is tall, cultured and elegant. The more we see of Carla and Dr. Namaroff, the more we realize there is a complex relationship trying to move beyond the confines of Transylvanian science,
 
At last Professor Meister ventures into the stone hulk of Castle Borski. He will encounter what legends say is true... the hideous secret of the woman whose hair hisses.
 
As corny, mannered and predictable as most of the Hammer horror movies are, including The Gorgon, it's got to be said that they're great fun. They're almost like watching a Kabuki performance with all of the deadly serious line delivery, richly detailed costumes, predictable and satisfying outcomes and stylized set pieces. The only thing lacking is quality. But while you might not get many smiles from most Kabuki plays, you will from most Hammer horror movies.
Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and a woman whose hair hisses. Not bad for a Transylvanian village Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and a woman whose hair hisses. Not bad for a Transylvanian village Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and a woman whose hair hisses. Not bad for a Transylvanian village Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and a woman whose hair hisses. Not bad for a Transylvanian village

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March 16, 2011
I remember this film and reviewed it a couple of years ago -- I gave it a 5 because of the performance of Peter Cushing and the goofy special effects -- maybe a 4 would have been more accurate. Thanks for all these reviews in my community. I can't wait until I retire and then I have time to post a lot more!
 
March 16, 2011
This sounds like a fun flick to check out! Thanks for sharing :) Have you checked out @'s review? You might have a good time checking it out!
March 16, 2011
Thanks DJ.
March 16, 2011
I revisited my review and gave it some editing. Wow, I really wrote like that only a year ago?
March 16, 2011
Anytime...it's amazing how much repetitive writing and getting valuable feedback here on Lunch will affect your writing skills, isn't it?
March 17, 2011
Very true. I have glossed over my old reviews -- sometimes I will change their communities and sometimes I will add video and pictures. In this case I added some pix and deleted a few lines. In those days I thought I had to write complete plot summaries!
 
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