Monday, December 3, 2018

The Ghoul, A Fast Car, a Party Girl, and a Cannibalistic Fiend

The beautiful Veronica Carlson. She was a Hammer glamour queen, though in today's feature, 1975's "The Ghoul," she shines her glamour in a non-Hammer production. This isn't an easy one to watch as the sultry Carlson will endure a worse fate than Janet Leigh did in Psycho. No Anthony Perkins in this film, instead we have Peter Cushing. Horrific and bloody, also heartbreaking and ominous, let us take a look at a tale where the beautiful are cut into pieces and eaten by a monster.
Party girl Daphne (Carlson) races a car through the English moors. This doesn't go well and she wrecks, and her boyfriend...well, you'll see. She is then abducted by Tom (John Hurt), a perverted gardener. He likes women's undergarments and desires to rape. Daphne should be so lucky, she escapes and finds her way to Dr. Lawrence's (Cushing) mansion. Clad in heavy make-up, a tight-revealing party dress, and heels, Daphne is now at Lawrence's mercy. Lawrence was a missionary to India, lost his faith, and joined a weird cult bent on sadism and cannibalism. This cost him his family...you'll see how. Daphne treats us to a gratuitous undressing scene and bath scene before...well...its horrible...let us just say Janet Leigh got off easy.
Wrought with guilt, Lawrence desperately  tries to regain his Christian faith. Unfortunately his son is locked in the attic and he is now a cannibal-monster. Ayah (Gwen Watford) is his Indian maid and she cooks. We see her preparing the son's dinner and as she carves up...well, you'll see. Daphne's friends Geoffrey (Ian McCulloch) and Angela (Alexandra Bastedo) come searching. Tom abducts Angela, also clad in a party dress, heavy make-up, and heels, and it is apparent she is slated for the same fate as the nubile and naughty Daphne. As the monster yearns for more meat, and Lawrence unsuccessfully prays for salvation, Tom decides to ravage Angela. As all this converges...a truly horrific conclusion approaches.
Will party-girl Angela suffer the same fate as the unfortunate Daphne? Will Tom rape Angela before the monster eats her? Will Lawrence regain his faith in time to save the beset party girl? Ms. Carlson and Ms. Bastedo are quite alluring and play the unfortunate beauties very well. For an almost Hammer horror film, enjoy "The Ghoul" (directed by Freddie Francis), and look past the beautiful actresses for fine performances by Mr. Cushing and Mr. Hurt.

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