Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, November 27, 2014


THE PIRATES OF BLOOD RIVER (1962). Director: John Gilling.

"I'm not a man of action. Perhaps I think too much to be brave."

Jason Standing (Andrew Kier), a magistrate at a 17th century Huguenot settlement on the isle of Devon, sends his own son Jonathon (Kerwin Mathews) to a penal colony for the alleged crime of adultery. Jason manages to escape and falls in with a group of French pirates run by a Captain LaRoche (Christopher Lee). Being assured that the pirates represent no danger to his people, Jonathon leads them back to Devon, and discovers you can't quite trust the word of a pirate. Other characters caught up in the action include Jonathon's sister Bess (Marla Landi), and her fella, Henry (Glenn Corbett of Homicidal). Michael Ripper and Oliver Reed [Paranoiac] play other pirates. This is a very handsome non-horror Hammer production, with Lee, unfortunately, being more subdued than usual in trying to avoid the stereotype of the fire-breathing pirate chief. There is an unconvincing attack by piranha, but Gary Hughes' score is a plus, as is the photography of Arthur Grant [The Terror of the Tongs]. Andrew Kier offers the most memorable performance.

Verdict: Not bad Hammer historical melodrama with an interesting cast. **1/2.

No comments: