A village murder mystery melds with Greek myth in Hammer’s The Gorgon. Our title creature this time around is a spin on old Medusa (here called Mageara), a woman with snakes for hair who likes to turn villagers to stone in her spare time. So, we have a monster, we have superlative British craftsmanship, and we even have Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee on board. What could go wrong?
Well, The Gorgon unfortunately turns out to be pretty boring and anti-climactic. The mystery is paper-thin and the dynamic horror duo of Cushing and Lee have precious few scenes together. Neither is on his best game (though admittedly, Cushing’s character isn’t much to work with). The Gorgon is definitely a sub-par entry in the Hammer Horror canon, but you’ll still find a few scenes of delicious gothic ambiance. I love how the filmmakers used painted backdrops in this film, and composer James Bernard provides a spooky score driven by ethereal voices.
Scott studied film and sociology at Indiana University and is currently the video producer for a large publishing company. He is the director of several independent films, including "House of Hope," "Off the Beaten Path," "The Day Joe Left," and "Found." For more about Scott, visit www.scottschirmer.com. Scott is also one of the principal organizers of the Dark Carnival Film Festival. (www.darkcarnivalfilmfest.com)