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(Review originally written at 29 August 2007)

This is an enjoyable rather forgotten movie from the Hammer studio's, staring both Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee again.

I particularly liked the atmosphere of the movie. Unlike many other Hammer movies, this one actually got creepy, which was mainly due to its mysterious build up and overall atmosphere. The first appearance of Megaera is a great horror moment and surprised me quite a bit at how greatly it was done.

But no, unfortunately the movie is a whole isn't among the best the Hammer studios ever provided. The actual story fails to become really interesting and the character treatment isn't the greatest. It took me a while into the movie to realize that Peter Cushing was going to be the 'bad' guy in this and Christoper Lee the good guy. Normally those roles are always turned around. Besides that, Christopher Lee doesn't really get featured until the movie is already halve way through. His character after that also makes a redundant impression and the movie could had easily done without him. He's first billed but don't be fooled, he really isn't the main character in this. It also isn't Christopher Lee's finest acting moment. At times he's just downward horrible. His silly looking make-up and wig also doesn't help much to make his character a good one. Peter Cushing also gets make-up applied. In some sequences he looks so much different than he did in real life! It also takes a while for the movie to introduce its real main character, Paul Heitz.

The story flow also isn't the greatest. The movie gets stuck at times, when the mystery doesn't get explained and not enough is happening in the movie, even though the actual story itself is in its core quite a good one, that's filled with lots of potential, that doesn't really get ever exploited in this movie.

The movie obviously didn't cost a lot to made. Like I said before, the make-up effects aren't the greatest but more distracting are the obvious fake backgrounds and sets. Nevertheless, this has now of course become part of the charm of Hammer horror movies.

Greatly enjoyable to watch for the Hammer fans.

6/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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