Eye For Film >> Movies >> Corridors Of Blood (1958) Film Review
First let me point out that Corridors Of Blood is not a horror film. The tag line is entirely misleading - stark terror stalks his victims. The original title: The Doctor From Seven Dials, although slightly less gripping, would have proved a more accurate portrayal of the picture. Blame MGM.
The excellent Boris Karloff plays Dr Thomas Bolton, a loveable character, determined to help the needy out of his own pocket and desperately attempting to separate pain and the knife for good.
Corridors Of Blood's only gore element lies in the pre-anaesthetic surgery conducted by Bolton. Patients are strapped down whilst legs are severed and their screams are heard, echoing throughout the amphitheatre.
Being the nice chap that he is, Bolton isn't content with the notion that fast surgery is the only way to minimise a patient's pain and his experiments with anaesthetics gradually lead him into an uncontrollable opium addiction.
This, for me, is the central selling point of the film. Watching the charming doctor become an addled drug fiend makes compelling viewing. When his addiction begins to severely affect his work, he's forced into accepting a deal with the riffraff who own the local lodging house, run by Black Ben.
Conned into signing fake death certificates, Bolton soon gets too deep into his drug-fuelled world and loses his grip on sanity.
Black Ben's right hand man, Resurrection Joe, is played rather menacingly by Christopher Lee, a cold and malevolent character who kills for cash. Originally this was a much smaller role, but they stretched it out a bit, because who could resist a film with Karloff and Lee, side by side?
The mood is perfect, creating a grim depiction of a Victorian London, with atmospheric lighting and fairly impressive camerawork to boot.
Overall, Corridors Of Blood is a strong piece of cinema, featuring excellent acting and genuine emotion from Jean Scott Rogers's script. It's easy viewing once it gets going and well worth an hour and 20 minutes of your time.Reviewed on: 18 Apr 2006
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