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Corruption is a 1968 British film directed by Robert Hartford-Davis, from a screenplay by Derek Ford and Donald Ford, and featuring Peter Cushing, Sue Lloyd, Noel Trevarthen, Kate O'Mara, David Lodge, Antony Booth, Wendy Varnals, Billy Murray, and Vanessa Howard. Corruption stars horror icon Peter Cushing in a shocking and atypically villainous role as a homicidal doctor.

Plot



Cushing plays Sir John Rowan, a plastic surgeon whose young fashion model and fiancée’s face (Sue Lloyd) is badly disfigured in an accident, caused in part by a jealous rage of his. Rowan pledges to reverse Lynn's disfigurement, experimenting with laser technology to revive her skin, eventually coming up with a cure-all, a Frankensteinian transplantation of glands. Driven by combination of guilt and love, Rowan goes on a murder spree, killing young women in order to use their glands to restore his fiancée’s beauty. The couple goes off on holiday to a seaside cottage and all is fine until her face starts to show signs of deterioration. In need of more surgery and a new "donor" the couple tries to entice a young girl (Wendy Varnals) who they meet at the beach and take back to their cottage. Complications ensue, first because Rowan doesn't want to commit another murder, and then because this girl isn't what she seems to be.

Reception



Brian Orndorf of Blu-ray.com writes in his 2013 review, “This 1968 film is set during the Swinging London period of gaudy liberation, where colors exploded, hair was uncomfortably cut, and free love was rampant. The image of Cushing, with his gentlemanly manner and impeccable style, is a potent one in the midst of all the youthful madness, with the opening of the effort traveling to a boisterous party where John is cornered by a picky hippie while Lynn's photographer guru goads her into nude shots. Corruption quickly moves away from the freak-out showdown, but its period fashion sense remains, lending the movie a distinct look that's almost as entertaining to study as the murder spree… Corruption finds a pitch of cinematic madness and holds there for most of the picture, remaining taut, with a pinch of sleaze for seasoning.”
Critic Paul Chambers writes, “Silly, but entertaining. That’s the best way to describe “Corruption,” the story of a wealthy surgeon during the swinging 1960′s who would do anything to keep his young girlfriend happy… Corruption is a hoot. It was made in the late 1960s and authentically depicts London’s free love and hip culture that was later lampooned in the Austin Powers comedies. Only this film was intended to be a serious horror flick and the costumes and sets are all that more enjoyable because…well, just because. Peter Cushing is over-the-top crazy in this grindhouse-style goreathon. It’s hard to imagine the filmmakers didn’t know the end product would be campy. But, that makes little difference to today’s audience. I see Corruption as a time capsule, of sorts.”
“Probably the imperfect jewel of British director Robert Hartford-Davis's oddball filmography... Corruption had been perhaps the rarest of horror superstar Peter Cushing's many, many genre movies until the October appearance of this beautifully remastered and restored edition from Grindhouse Releasing, a company that exceeds even the Criterion Collection in its determination to create the definitive editions of the titles it licenses… A truly wacked-out work of art,” writes critic John Beifuss.

References





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