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Doctor Blood's Coffin (1961) - Blu-ray Review

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Doctor Blood's Coffin (1961) - Blu-ray Review

2 beers“Peter! He’s alive!” With that sentence, one surgeon’s ugly truth is revealed. Killer psychotics dressed in white, yes, this thriller is a bit twisted but then what else could you expect from the team behind The Boy Who Cried Werewolf and The Snake Woman? A straight edged comedy?

Dr. Peter Blood (Kieron Moore from The Day of the Triffids) is one troubled medical doctor. He’s pretty sneaky and, as we don’t get to see his face for the first ten minutes of the movie, our senses are conditioned to already see him as a villain. Kicked out of medical school for being too risky with his unusual human procedures, the very minute he returns home to Cornwall, well, people start to go missing. Is it just a coincidence?

You and I both know it isn’t. But what is really going on is this flick’s main head-trip. Leave the crack-ups to the village undertaker Mr. Morton (Gerald Lawson), though. He’s worth a few chuckles as the mystery of the kidnappings grows by the day and so too does the demand for coffins.

Turns out, Dr. Blood is stockpiling the bodies – after injecting them with some knockout serum – in the Porthcarron Tin Mine along the coast.   And that’s just the beginning of Doctor Blood’s Coffin, a knockoff of what Hammer Studios was doing so well with Mary Shelley’s property in films like The Curse of Frankenstein and The Revenge of Frankenstein. While not as unsettling as its inspiration, this title does manage to pll off some fairly shocking moments once we realize why Dr. Blood is doing what he’s doing.

 

"Heard of slow burns before? This one is a slow roast"


 

Heard of slow burns before? This one is a slow roast as one big-headed doctor lets his ego do the surgery of removing one worthless (but STILL living) man’s heart and putting it into the chest of another who deserves to live.

Full of interesting vistas, including a relatively shocking one in which one of Dr. Blood’s victims crawls across a hilltop before rolling out of sight from the panicked doctor, this film rolls out slowly, taking its time with creating suspense and upending a constant mood thanks to the sunny skies right outside the window and a brief romantic fling between the good/bad doctor and his father’s nurse. Exactly what is going on here?!

Co-starring Hazel Court (from The Curse of Frankenstein) as the nurse that catches his eye and Ian Hunter as his father, the village doctor, the film gives us a bit of a twist on the mad doctor flick thanks to the alarming amount of swagger and courage that this young doctor exudes. Surely a man of this stature can’t be all wrong?!

Even his victims, once found, are too flabbergasted by his chiseled good looks to say much of anything. They babble incoherently instead and, whew!, the good/bad doctor is saved time and time again. No one and nothing holds this doctor back. Not even the Hippocratic oath. Because this misunderstood genius of the scalpel is on a mission from God.

Cue the crashing symbols and the glorious pans across the Celtic Sea. There’s love and death in the air in this British horror film.   Produced by George Fowler and directed by Sidney J. Furie (The Entity), Doctor Blood’s Coffin both terrifies and mystifies with interesting patterns that is uniquely its own.

Doctor Blood’s Coffin might not be all that original in its design, but the lid itself manages to close with only a few squeaks thanks to its decrepit contents inside. When the game is playing God and you get to decide who is worthy of life and who is not, the consequence of losing is one hell of a price to pay.

Game over.

Doctor Blood's Coffin (1961) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
92 mins
Director
: Sidney J. Furie
Writer:
Nathan Juran
Cast:
Kieron Moore, Hazel Court, Ian Hunter
Genre
: Horror | Sci-fi
Tagline:
A Monster created from the depths!
Memorable Movie Quote: "I'd like you to analyze whatever's in that needle."
Theatrical Distributor:
United Artists
Official Site:
Release Date:
May 15, 1962
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
May 15, 2018
Synopsis: After being dismissed from medical school because of his devious experiments, Doctor Peter Blood returns home to join his father's practice. He still believes he can create the perfect human, so he continues his experiments in an abandoned mine where he attempts to revive a rotting corpse. But Dr. Blood needs a living "donor" to create his "perfect human" and soon people start to disappear from the nearby village.

Doctor Blood's Coffin (1961) - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- May 15, 2018
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Doctor Blood’s Coffin is issued on blu-ray thanks to Scream Factory’s new HD transfer. The 1:85.1 handling of this horror title does not disappoint thanks to breathtaking vistas and a robust color handling. Skin tones and colors are well-saturated and shadows are strong. There is a nice grain to the look of the film and textures in the house are more than perceptible. The 2.0 DTS-HD MA sound mix keeps us in the picture with mood effects and clean dialogue.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

It’s a bit lacking but so too is the film.

  • Still Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailer

Doctor Blood's Coffin (1961) - Blu-ray Review

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