Thursday, 18 January 2018

The Man Who Cheated Death.

You may not be familiar with this movie byt if you have enjoyed Oscar wilde's Picture Of Dorian Graythen you might also enjoy this purple hued slice of Victorian Melodrama. the story of how one man's attempt to cheat the tides of time leads to madness and murder, oh the hubris of it all. Anton Diffring is Dr. George Bonnet who skirts untouched by the passing decades by transplanting glands from the bodies of his murder victims into his own body. It is only a cheat though and death constantly dogs his steps as he dodges a truly gruesome end as the parried years manifest in a split second should the supply of glands be denied. It is as much his terror of that fearful end which drives him on as much as his desire for an unnaturally long life.
             His mentor professor Ludwig Weiss has come back into his life to warn him that enough is enough and an end must come but the great man's former pupil is not ready to listen. A very youthful and debonair Christopher Lee plays his unwilling accomplice black mailed into helping him for fear of the young lady he hopes to protect. Arnold Marle plays Professor Weiss and introduces a dash of wild haired Euro eccentricity. I remember mister Merle from a memorable turn as the chief Llama of the monastry on the mountain in Val Lewton's Hammer movie The Abominable Snowman. He is quite a character. Great eyes and an expressive voice imbued with ancient wisdom.
              This is not the most action packed of movies and I am not even sure why that should be a consideration. It is dialogue driven with a crushed velvet quality. a lovely wee Victorian Gothic treat to wile away a winter evening for those who enjoy their prose a hazy shade of purple.