The Gorgon

Film, Horror
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One of the few Hammer films with a female monster, this very English slice of Grand Guignol is undermined by failings in the make-up department. The Gorgon, a harridan with a snake-encrusted wig, would be hard pressed to frighten the proverbial mouse, let alone turn anyone to stone. Barbara Shelley's the young woman who acts ghoulish whenever there's a full moon. (The actual monster was played by Prudence Hyman.) Given that so many thrillers are predicated on the idea of the murderous male gaze, it's a novelty to have the woman staring back. Fisher directs in his usual brisk style, as if he's making a public information documentary, not a baroque horror pic. The settings are disconcerting (we're in Vandorf, an imaginary country somewhere between Transylvania and suburban Surrey) and Christopher Lee's scientist always looks uncomfortable in his tweed suit.

By: GM

Release details

Duration: 83 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Terence Fisher
Screenwriter: John Gilling
Cast: Peter Cushing
Richard Pasco
Barbara Shelley
Christopher Lee
Michael Goodliffe
Patrick Troughton
Prudence Hyman
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