Sunday, December 5, 2010

Corridors Of Blood!

I've read this evocative title in many a monster magazine and elsewhere, a late feature in the career of the matchless Boris Karloff. But I've never had the chance to see it...until yesterday. AMC ran it early yesterday morning and I caught not all but most of it.

I liked what I saw.

Boris Karloff plays Dr.Bolton, a pioneering surgeon in the 1840's who is seeking anesthesia so that as he says "the knife and the pain can be separated". He is scoffed at by some of his peers, but continues and discovers what he seeks, but alas his demonstration is a disaster ruining his reputation and he desperately falls into drug addiction while seeking to finish his life's work. He then finds himself among a pack of murderers who trade in bodies for the very doctors he associates with, especially one named Resurrection Joe played by Christopher Lee.

It's neat to see these two most famous screen Frankenstein Monsters together in a very smart movie that makes a lot of the talents of both men. Lee has little to say and relatively little screen time, but he gets his moments an makes the most of them.

I've read criticism that the movie is dull, but I didn't find that to be the case. Karloff is in top form and makes you really care for a desperate man. He's exceedingly well cast in a roll perfectly suited to his age and situation. Likewise the others in the cast seem well chosen. It's a slick movie.

Apparently though it was not thought well of by its producers though as it was allowed to languish in the vaults for four years. The movie was made in 1958 and is Lee's first role after his memorable turn as the Monster, but was not released until 1962. Whatever others thought of it, I liked it a lot and mostly because of the impeccable acting of the late great Karloff.

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