Production: UK, 1964
Director: Terence Fisher
Category: Horror
Having covered every traditional monster angle, Hammer in 1964 turned to Greek mythology and came up with The Gorgon. Translating the action to Transylvania, the story tells of villagers being literally petrified by the Gorgon Medusa, a monstrous female with hissing, writhing serpents in her hair. She turns out to have possessed the beautiful Carla (Barbara Shelley, who was to the British horror film what Barbara Steele had become to the Italian), and to be in league with a brain surgeon, Namaroff (Peter Cushing). Christopher Lee does the honours as Meister, the university professor who sets out to liberate the villagefolk from evil, finally cutting off her head like a latter-day Perseus. Despite Shelley’s willingness to play both roles (even with live snakes in her hair), the Gorgon was finally portrayed by Prudence Hyman. Again directed by Terence Fisher, this was an uneven but entertaining attempt to try out a new creature, marked by its bleak ending. Released in Germany as Die Brennenden Augun Von Schloss Bartimore (“The Blazing Eyes Of Castle Bartimore”).

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