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Horrors of the Black Museum [DVD]

Michael Gough , June Cunningham , Arthur Crabtree    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
Price: 4.54 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Michael Gough, June Cunningham, Graham Curnow, Shirley Anne Field, Geoffrey Keen
  • Directors: Arthur Crabtree
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Network
  • DVD Release Date: 24 Jun 2013
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00BBF9R2K
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,655 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Michael Gough gives a gloriously overwrought performance in this notorious 1959 horror feature. A box-office triumph, it was shot at Merton Park Studios in the relatively new CinemaScope format and presented with the additional gimmick of 'HypnoVista'. Horrors of the Black Museum was the first in what has been dubbed Anglo-Amalgamated's 'Sadian trilogy' (with Circus of Horrors and Peeping Tom), in which the keynote is sensationalistic, sexually charged violence. It is featured here in a brand-new transfer from original film elements in its as-exhibited theatrical aspect ratio.

When a series of grisly, macabre and seemingly motiveless murders leaves Scotland Yard baffled, leading crime writer and journalist Edward Bancroft is following events with particular interest. But Bancroft is not what he seems, and woe betide anyone who gets in his way...

SPECIAL FEATURES
[] Original theatrical trailers
[] Original US HypnoVista introduction
[] Image gallery


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Originally a very notorious X certificate, now reduced to a puny 15, Horrors of the Black Museum is a wildly enjoyable rare colour and CinemaScope production for Herman Cohen, the American producer of I Was a Teenage Werewolf and the English Poverty Row studio Merton Park, whose budgets were so low they couldn't even afford Sid James or Richard Wattis.

Michael Gough stars as a conceited crime reporter with a chamber of horrors in his basement and bats in his belfry who hypnotises his juvenile assistant into carrying out a series of gruesome murders so he can write about them. You can fill in the gaps yourself. The only things that retain their dignity 47 years on are Geoffrey Keen's performance and Gerard Schurrman's exceptionally strong score. The latter actually led to the film being recut; the censors originally passed the notorious binocular murder that opens the film without music but insisted on trimming it after hearing his scoring for the scene!

Like the same team's Konga, there is some truly astonishing dialogue. "Don't forget by bringing her down here you've placed both of us in jeopardy!" rants Gough of Shirley Ann Field, who gives a performance you will never forget no matter how hard you try. "The first time she wants to feel her strength, the first time you quarrel she can start a toboggan that will crush us!"

Other unintentional comic highlights abound, with blowsy June Cunningham's solo dance number in a London pub to Rockola accompaniment pipped to the post by 'poor demented barmy' Howard Greene's confession scene: "You used a guillotine?" "Well, I felt like it. Saw a picture of one in a history book. It inspired me to build one. I'm clever with my hands! Do you know what I'll use next? A death ray!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very Tame 11 Jun 2014
Format:DVD
I enjoy a lurid British thriller when I can find one, but sadly "Horrors of the Black Museum" is not an effective example of one. I was hoping for something similar to "Circus of Horrors" which is from a very similar period, but that film is altogether more grisly and entertaining than this one.

The plot sees a string or murders in London, all employing elaborate killing techniques. A famous author of true-life crime (Michael Gough) seems particularly interested in the murders, and although he regularly helps the police...is he actually the killer? The best murder in the story (from a pair of deadly binoculars) appears in the first 5 minutes, which actually does the film a disservice as it's not equalled or bettered by anything else that happens. The rest of the plot does see more murders, but in typical British fashion, they all take place off screen, or just tastefully masked out of shot, which makes things pretty dull for a supposed "horror movie". Now, things can still be rescued by a gripping plot, but there's not much of that either.

The real nail in the coffin is the appalling acting. Michael Gough is ok, but Graham Curnow is terrible as his assistant, and Shirley Ann Field is wooden beyond belief. Theres an abundance of very grating Cockney dialogue, along the lines of "Oh, ta very much, dearie" from the women and "Cor Blimey!" from the men, and things wind up with a really rubbish climax set in a funfair. If the movie had exploited it's "tools of death" angle more salaciously, then "Horrors of the Black Museum" would have earned a nice place in horror history, but the reluctance to show anything even mildly nasty is a real mistake. Only the opening binoculars death has any shock value, and as mentioned before, it's followed buy a full 90 minutes of running time when nothing else good happens. I'm disappointed when I have to be negative but this film really isn't very good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars overacting 27 April 2014
By Pauly
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Michael Gouch gives an over the top performance in this film and Shirley Anne Field sounds as if she is reading from a script!!!
It is really funny,but was obviously meant to be serious.Good printAnd I must congratulate Network films for starting to release so many british films of the 50s and 60s in good quality prints
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for it's time 29 Jun 2009
Format:DVD
My mum watched this film when it came out in the cinema in 1959. She said it was scary. She could only remember the scene with the binoculars. She has never forggoten that scene. So i was delighted to find it on Amazon at such a bargin price. I watched it myself it was very gory even though it was bright red blood. It is well thought out and the black museum itself is quite macarbe. This film is a real gem.
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4.0 out of 5 stars horror film? 23 Feb 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
excellent copy ,rock steady picture good sound [mono] worth watching but tame by todays standards it says its a brand new transfer from original theatrical version but the binocular sequence seems cut to how i remember it when viewing it at the cinema,it doesn't spoill it though
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3.0 out of 5 stars cinemascope,you see it with glasses!! 26 July 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
watch out collectors,this is a beautiful print but the original cinemascope widescreen is not anamorphic but full narrow widescreen which is odd because a few years ago cinema club released this film in anamorphic widescreen,with a very nice picture and sound quality.this network release has the original hypnovista introduction and trailer which is always a welcome sight for the collector,a must have for 60s exploitation horror collectors but for me in this day and age anamorphic widescreen is a must have.the cinema club version is the better of the two if you can get hold of it, but does not include the hypnovista introduction,the trailer is also included.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars ok horror
not bad movie pays for what you get,brand new sealed condition very quick delivery well pleased.these in slim dvd case which is great
Published 8 months ago by markus
3.0 out of 5 stars Batman's Butler Goes Batty.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Horrors of the Black Museum is directed by Arthur Crabtree and written by Herman Cohen and Aben Kandel. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Spike Owen
2.0 out of 5 stars Not very good
I had read numerous glowing reviews of this film for a lot of years, so I was very happy when it was released on DVD. Read more
Published 12 months ago by FJY
4.0 out of 5 stars " Stay away from this nasty film ! "
I can't recall the actual words from the PICTUREGOER magazine film reviewer, but the message was clearly that filmgoers should avoid this gory thriller, which of course only served... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Mr. Malcolm Webb
4.0 out of 5 stars If You Dare....The Horrors-The Horrors!!
If it wasn't for the great and wonderful Michael Cough and a lovely Scope print (good colour and sound) one might doubt the sense of releasing this one ( abit like "Konga"). Read more
Published 12 months ago by A. W. Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Michael Gough at his best...going off his head...
Michael Gough was a quirky character actor but when he had lead roles such as Bancroft in "Horrors of the Black Museum" he could let rip with frightening tendencies that had you... Read more
Published 23 months ago by C. FULLER
2.0 out of 5 stars decent little flick
Low budget Brit Horror with Michael Gough over acting as usual. Some film critics with too much time on their hands have likened this to Peeping Tom as it touches on similar... Read more
Published on 1 Jan 2009 by Mr. N. M. Smith
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