CORRUPTION (1968). Directed by Robert Hartford-Davis.
Peter Cushing is splendid as usual as a doctor who accidentally causes the disfigurement of his fiancee (Sue Lloyd) when he engages in a fight with a photographer and a big arc lamp topples on top of her. He affects a skin graft, but when it doesn’t last he discovers that using certain glands from young females will enable the skin to stay fresh for a longer period. Unfortunately, he needs to keep killing women to get at the necessary glands and keep his girlfriend beautiful. Lloyd eventually becomes even more ruthless than Cushing, and the two come afoul of a whole gang of cretins who come looking for the couple’s latest young victim, the gang leader’s girlfriend. This delightfully lurid, decidedly unpleasant, but very absorbing thriller is clumsily directed and features a very inappropriate jazz score that only detracts from the suspense. There is a rather effective murder scene and beheading in a train compartment, however, and the finale – with a laser beam running amok and obliterating almost all of the cast – is one of the most grotesque within memory. Definitely an unusual shocker to say the least, and certainly worth a look if you’re game. Cushing may have deserved much better material, but he’s on top of his game throughout.
Verdict: Gross but entertaining. **1/2.